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Require train lighting by law

10 April 2024

Lighting and illuminating trains more effectively must be a legal requirement to save lives at level crossings, Australian Trucking Association Chair David Smith said today.

Mr Smith was releasing the ATA’s comprehensive response to the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator’s (ONRSR) draft Code of Practice on Level Crossings and Train Visibility.

“The code’s voluntary and non-binding nature is problematic for improving train illumination. Accidents at night-time represent a significant proportion of total road deaths, suggesting that decreased visibility plays a significant role in collisions,” Mr Smith said.

“Road users and rail workers are dying, and better lighting on locomotives and wagons, such as flashing beacon lights and side lights could prevent crashes and save lives.

“The ATA strongly advocates for making lighting and illumination a legal requirement, emphasising that train conspicuity is a critical aspect of level crossing safety.

“Trucks are required by law to meet minimum lighting and illumination standards. There is no reason why trains should not be subject to similar requirements.

“The ATA has called for the code to be transitioned into regulations under the Rail Safety National Law to ensure greater accountability and safety compliance in the rail industry.

“The ATA urges ONRSR to seize this opportunity to demonstrate the rail industry’s dedication to achieving zero deaths and serious injuries at level crossings,” he said.

The ATA’s submission is a testament to its commitment to safety and its advocacy for effective, enforceable regulations that protect all road users and rail workers.

Read the submission