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Safe driving tips

Level Crossings

Rail Safety - it’s everyone’s responsibility

Risk taking at rail level crossings is hazardous – any incident at a railway crossing can cause service disruptions, motorist delays, property damage, trauma, and in the most serious cases, injury and death.

Ask yourself – ‘how often do I cross over train or tram tracks?’ If you think about it, the answer might surprise you. There are almost 700 level crossings and more than 450 pedestrian crossings on public roads within South Australia.

Actions like queuing over level crossings, not looking for a second train, not paying attention to the railway level crossing signs or signals, running warning lights and evading boom gates can result in major trauma or death. Many of these actions are illegal and you also risk being fined.

What is being done?

There have been significant safety improvements to railway crossings over the past decade, however more work needs to be done.

Responsibility for managing railway crossing safety is shared by many organisations, including State and local governments and rail infrastructure owners.

Read more about South Australia’s Railway Crossing Safety Strategy (PDF, 1305 KB).

Top tips to stay safe around the rail network

Some things to keep in mind whenever you’re about to cross train or tram tracks:

  • If a train or tram is coming, wait for it to pass, and then stop, look, listen and think again before crossing – a second train or tram may be coming.
  • Always use a pedestrian crossing to cross the tracks or to access a station platform – it is illegal to walk or run along the tracks and cross the tracks between platforms.
  • If you’re a pedestrian, be sensible, pay attention and be alert when using pedestrian crossings – trains and trams travel quickly (up to 100km/h) and quietly.
  • Look up from your mobile phone and take off your headphones before crossing – the smallest distraction can have a lifelong impact.
  • When waiting on a platform, stay away from the edge, and stay behind the white line
  • Bikes, rollerblades, skates or skateboards must be walked or carried on station platforms, on the ramps leading up to platforms, through pedestrian mazes, while crossing rail lines, in overpasses or underpasses.
  • If you’re driving, always make sure there is sufficient space for your vehicle to cross safely to the other side without stopping - it is an offence to enter a level crossing if the road beyond the crossing is blocked or to stop on the yellow box marking.
  • If the boom gates seem to be stuck down or the warning signals flash for longer than normal do not cross, it is an offence to enter a level crossing while the lights are flashing or warning bells operating.
  • Any faults at a level crossing can be reported to 1800 018 313 (remember to comply with mobile phone laws) and if driving you have the choice of waiting, taking an alternative road if able to do so or safely U-turn where legal and possible.
  • Road users need to share the road with trams.  Always give way and be careful not to perform U-turns in front of trams.

Think you know how to be safe around trains? Try this quick rail safety quiz to check your knowledge.

Watch our rail safety videos about the dangers of rail crossings and first-hand accounts of the impact of near-misses on rail operators.

Watch our rail safety videos about the dangers of rail crossings and first-hand accounts of the impact of near-misses on rail operators.

Rail Crossing Safety

Personal Story

Do you know when to cross the line?

Further information

  • The signs and signals and the road rules that apply to level crossings are explained in the Crossings section of The Driver's Handbook.

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