Stand Back. Look Up. Stay Rail Safe.

09 Aug 2022
Blonde woman behind a rail gate that an emergency exit sign on it with an arrow pointing to the right

Railway level crossings can be dangerous for pedestrians, cyclists and road vehicles.

A moment of distraction could change your life forever.

There are an average of 83 fatalities on Australian rail lines every year.

The consequences for not observing railway line crossing rules can be far-reaching and potentially devastating.

Near miss and collision incidents occur regularly at pedestrian and vehicle railway crossings, especially on busy Adelaide Metro train lines.

Ask yourself:

  • ‘How often do I cross train or tram tracks?’
  • ‘Do I pay attention when I cross?’

The answer might surprise you.

Rail safety is everyone's responsibility.

National Rail Safety Week

National Rail Safety Week - August 8 to 14 - is an annual community awareness initiative run by the TrackSAFE Foundation to unite the rail workforce, police, government and community groups to raise awareness of the importance of rail safety.

Working together on rail safety is very important.

Adelaide Metro and the Government of South Australia are committed to the ongoing improvement of South Australia’s railway network and the safety of all passengers and the people who use the rail network.

We support National Rail Safety Week.

In South Australia, we have 480 pedestrian crossing, with around 350 on the metropolitan rail network, as well as 557 public railway level crossings including 79 metropolitan level crossings.

On average, there are 110 near misses and 6 collisions between a train and people or vehicle per year.

For the 5 years between 2017 and 2021:

  • Collision with person: 10 (resulting in 2 fatalities)
  • Collision with vehicle: 18 (resulting in 3 fatalities)
  • Near miss with person: 390
  • Near miss with vehicle: 159

Source: Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator. Information does not include deliberate acts / self-harm incidents not at a level crossing or damage / interference to infrastructure.

Five people lost their lives in South Australia in the five years to 31 December 2021.

All road level crossings on the metropolitan passenger network have active warning signals with flashing lights and boom gates.

But not all pedestrian crossings have active warning systems.

You should always check that the track is clear in both directions before crossing.

Dangerous behaviour

Dangerous and risk-taking behaviour near railway tracks can be a result of impatience, complacency and distractions like mobile phones and headphones.

Stand back. Look up. Stay rail safe.

  • Always look both ways before crossing the tracks
  • Put devices away
  • Take your headphones off
  • Only cross at dedicated crossings
  • Stand behind the white line at stations

Trains can’t stop quickly. Don’t get in their path.

Pedestrian safety

Most people conduct themselves safely at railway crossings, however there are some people who do not.

Avoid the following behaviour for the safety of yourself and others:

  • Running or walking across tracks after a train passes, and not looking for a train coming from the other direction
  • Being distracted by children or pushing a pram
  • Running in front of a train
  • Using umbrellas, headphones, mobile phones and other distractions
  • Having a conversation while crossing the tracks
  • Forcing open an active pedestrian barrier gate
  • Walking around a dedicated railway crossing
  • Walking behind a train and not seeing a train coming from other direction

If you can’t hear the train, you might not see the train.

Always stop and look both ways.

Student safety

Hazardous behaviour by students can be playful, however is can also be dangerous.

Avoid the following behaviour for the safety of yourself and others:

  • Playful pushing on platforms around an oncoming train
  • Jumping off a platform to retrieve a dropped item
  • Not standing behind the white line, causing safety issues for trains arriving and departing stations
  • Jumping onto the side of a train while it is stopped at a station
  • Following someone they presume has looked for trains before crossing
  • Ignoring signals and running in front of trains

Don't race the train.

It can’t stop quickly. You can.

Road vehicle safety

Drivers of road vehicles can be at risk at level crossings, even when active visual and audio alerts are in place.

Avoid the following behaviour for the safety of yourself and others:

  • Queuing across tracks
  • Rushing through or under boom gates as they lower

Stay behind the white line until it is safe to cross.

Regional level crossing incidents are more likely to involve vehicles than pedestrians. Always stay alert and obey signs at railway lines in rural areas.

Don’t chance it.

Top tips to stay rail safe

Check out these top tips to help you stay safe at railway level crossings.

Take the rail safety quiz

Risk taking behaviour at railway level crossings is not safe. Are you putting your life on the line?

  • Do you know where you can safely cross a train or tram line?
  • If the red lights are flashing, what should you do?

Test your rail safety knowledge with our Rail Safety quiz and see if you can get a perfect score.

Information and resources

Visit the TrackSAFE 2022 Rail Safety Week website

View South Australia’s Railway Crossing Safety Strategy