August 15 marked the first day of Rail Safety Week’s tenth anniversary.
The idea of Rail Safety Week, which ends on August 21, is to encourage safety around railway lines and platforms via a campaign that focusses on rail safety being ‘everyone’s responsibility.’
For the Cassowary Coast the big focus is the cane train lines that make their way across the Cassowary Coast region.
In preparation for Rail Safety Week, Police from the Innisfail Road Policing met with the South Johnstone Mill Transport Managers and loco operators last week to discuss and devise a partnership approach towards Rail Safety and promote Rail Safety Week in the Cassowary Coast area.
With the season now in full swing there are numerous movements of locos hauling cane bins around the clock and across the road network. So it is pertinent that everyone does their bit to ensure that both rail and vehicular traffic can go about their business safely.
Officer in Charge of the Innisfail Road Policing Unit, Sergeant Jason McCoomb, said he hopes police are not required to attend any incidents involving trains and cars.
“Incidents where trains or vehicles come together can be catastrophic,” Sergeant McCoomb said.
“And in consulting with loco operators, police were informed that some people still choose to ignore traffic lights and warnings that there is a loco approaching and proceed through rail crossings when red lights are actively operating on a daily basis. This is high risk and unnecessarily dangerous.”
“From an educational perspective there are ads on TV and radio promoting safety at Rail crossings and we ask that motorists heed those messages.”
Sergeant McCoomb wants to remind drivers failing to stop or proceeding through a red light at a rail crossing can attract a penalty of $365 and 3 demerit points from your licence. Police plead with all motorists to exercise patience and err on the side of caution – failing to do so could see enforcement action result. The cane cutting season runs from mid-June until mid-December and it is up to everyone to be responsible.
To find out more about this campaign click here.