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As Victorian students head back to school after the summer break, they will be encouraged to stay safe around level crossings thanks to a new educational partnership between Metro Trains and Victoria Police.
Minister for Public Transport Melissa Horne today visited Yarraville station to launch the new Joint Education Taskforce.
Codenamed Operation Jet, the taskforce is an alliance of Metro Trains’ Community Education Unit and Victoria Police’s Transit Proactive Unit.
Police officers, Protective Services Officers and Metro staff members will conduct a series of visits to schools, level crossings and railway stations over the next 11 weeks to discuss rail safety issues with students with the aim of reducing the number of incidents.
There are more than 200 pedestrian incidents reported at level crossings every year.
Metro and Victoria Police together identified 10 stations where a higher number of safety incidents involving school children occur, including Berwick, Parkdale, Beaconsfield, Officer, Yarraville, Thornbury, Hoppers Crossing, Mentone, Pascoe Vale, and Prahran.
School communities will be invited to observe the taskforce’s work in high incident areas. School captains will also have an opportunity to be role models to their fellow classmates and discuss ways they can improve their behaviour around trains.
The taskforce will call on students to take the pledge and promise to be safe around trains – with signed posters to be put up at local stations.
The Andrews Labor Government has improved safety around level crossings thanks to its on-going removal program which will see 75 level crossings gone for good by 2025.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Public Transport Melissa Horne
“We know how dangerous level crossings can be – particularly for young children as they’re heading to and from school.”
“This taskforce is all about educating our school communities, empowering young people to make a positive change in their behaviour, and most importantly saving lives.”
“Educating kids about safety will ensure they’re more aware around aware around trains and can be a role model to their mates.”
This article first appeared on www.premier.vic.gov.au
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