Fraser calls for lights at danger crossings

COFFS Harbour MP Andrew Fraser has called on the NSW government to immediately install flashing lights and bells, and boom gates where appropriate, at all level crossings in New South Wales.

The Shadow Minister for Road Safety made the call following the horrific accident at Kerang in Victoria where a truck and passenger train collided resulting in 11 deaths with many more seriously injured.

"We've had a number of tragic accidents in NSW where people have lost their lives, yet this state government continues to ignore the recommendations of both national and state authorities when it comes to upgrading level crossings," Mr Fraser said.

"One example is the Baan Baa crossing in the northwest of the state.

"In May 2005 a woman was killed at that level crossing when her car collided with the CountryLink Xplorer train.

"The coroner recommended lights and bells be installed at that country crossing but it hasn't been done."

Mr Fraser said there were over 3600 level crossings in NSW with the majority of them in regional areas.

"The National Railway Level Crossing Safety Strategy clearly states that of all road crashes, those between a motor vehicle and train are amongst the most severe," he added.

"In our own backyard, The Independent Transport Safety and Reliability Regulator claims that most rail related incidents which involve the public occur at level crossings. In 2005/06 there were 9 collisions in NSW resulting in one fatality.

"I'm calling on Labor's Minister for Roads, Eric Roozendaal, to adopt the recommendations and turn all passive crossings with no lights or bells into active crossings that include lights and bells, and boom gates where appropriate, to prevent the recurrence of similar tragedies and help save lives."

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