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THE number of Tasmanian drivers and pedestrians courting danger on the state’s rail network has risen sharply.
TasRail has reported 123 near-miss incidents in the 2015-16 period – up from 94 the year before.
TasRail has joined rail organisations across Australia to try to change attitudes towards safety at level crossings and on rail bridges and other infrastructure.
The rail operator said a trial of fixed cameras at level crossing hot spots had deterred risky behaviour and all TR-class locomotives now had CCTV cameras fitted.
A camera has also been installed at Stoney Rise, near Devonport, with another planned for the crossing on the Midland Highway at Perth.
TasRail chief executive Damien White said the “Rail Safety – It’s Everyone’s Responsibility” campaign was about encouraging the public to behave correctly around tracks, trains and rail assets.
“If every Tasmanian made a conscious decision to act responsibly, the state should achieve zero harm across the rail network,” Mr White said.
In April, TasRail reported a jump in the number of incidents being reported by train drivers, particularly at the Longford, Leven and Blythe rail bridges.
In June, it needed to repeat warnings about the dangers of playing near tracks after an inspector spotted a number of school-age children playing on a suspended rope ladder they had tied to the railway line on the Don River rail bridge near Devonport.
“Every near miss has the potential to cause serious harm,” Mr White said.
“It is just luck that no trespasser was struck by a train in the past 12 months,” he said.
This article first appeared on www.themercury.com.au
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