Safety at railway crossings


While there are not many reported instances of persons being ‘murdered’ by a train at a level crossing we do know that when it has happened the ‘fall out’ has been significant. While those are the known instances there are no doubt many ‘near misses’ which, given a slight change in circumstances, could have resulted in fatalities.

Every roadway-rail crossing fatality is preventable when drivers adhere to the following extra precautions:

  • Never try to a beat a train. When traveling at 80kph, it takes a train at least a 1 to 1.5 kms onto come to a full stop.
  • Slow down and yield when approaching a crossing. It’s not just a safety precaution; it’s the law. Stop behind the solid white line or at least 3 meters from the crossing.
  • Never stop on the tracks. If your vehicle stalls on the tracks, get out immediately, walk to safety and call emergency services.
  • Keep your vehicle off the tracks whenever the lights are on or the gate is down—even if you do not see a train approaching.
  • Be aware that trains – in some areas – can suddenly appear at any time of day or night.
  • Be extra alert if there are two or more tracks—a second or third train may be approaching.
  • If a gate is malfunctioning or there is a hazard on the tracks, look for the sign that identifies that rail crossing then report the problem. 


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