Freight rail safety

Transnet campaigning for fewer railway crossing accidents
Transnet Freight Rail has again embarked on its rail safety campaign in schools to sensitise learners about the dangers of trains and adhering to the necessary safety practices to avoid injuries and deaths amongst communities in the country.
The campaign focuses primarily on issues such as the dangers of trains, crossing railway lines on foot, adhering to level crossing signs and stone throwing at trains.
“The campaign is held at the beginning of every school calendar year. It involves presentations on rail safety issues and the distribution of numerous educational material that educates learners on a number of rail safety related messages. The campaign, which is now in its second year, has already reached nearly 55 000 learners throughout the country and the Company aims to reach a further 62 000 this year.
Learners living near railway lines have specifically been targeted in the hope that they will share and spread the message of rail safety with their peers and parents”, said Transnet spokesperson, Sandile Simelane.
The campaign is aimed at reducing injuries and deaths arising out of train incidents through focussing on changing behaviours and attitudes of the public in general.
“Last year there were 122 level crossing incidents that resulted in 22 fatalities. Almost all level crossing accidents are a result of the failure of motorists to stop at the clearly demarcated stop signs at level crossing. Trains take a long time to stop – even when the driver applies brakes, a loaded train can take more than a kilometre to stop”.
Transnet Freight Rail would like to appeal to the community to assist in eradicating these tragic and unnecessary incidents by obeying at all times the traffic laws governing rail level crossings.
“People involved in railway level crossing incidents are usually complacent when approaching crossings. The law requires motorists to bring the motor vehicle to a complete standstill at a level crossing. Trains can’t swerve to avoid you and given the weight of a train, the chances of you surviving a crash are poor as air bags will not be able to save you when you are involved in a collision with a train”, continued Simelane.