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Chief Insp McGregor said the very size and mass of a train completely overwhelms that of a motor vehicle.
He said no-one who read of the tragic accident at Kyogle rail crossing on June 14 this year would underestimate the importance of safe driving at rail crossings.
He agreed when Bronwyn Callaghan's car was hit by a train at the Yongurra Rd crossing in Kyogle a few months ago, her death shook the local community.
Now he said, police are urging drivers and commuters to behave responsibly at level crossings and around train stations for Rail Safety Week 2017
Rail Safety Week which runs from August 14 to 20, is an annual community awareness week held in Australia and New Zealand designed to engage the community in safe rail practices.
NSW Police will be conducting an operation throughout the week which will see officers from the Police Transport Command and Traffic and Highway Patrol Command patrolling for those trespassing or putting themselves in danger in and around trains and drivers taking risks at level crossings.
As part of Rail Safety Week, officers from the Police Transport Command will raise awareness to the dangers of rail crossing and trespassing on train tracks.
Chief Insp McGregor said motorists who disobey level crossing flashing lights, booms or stop signs or who queue across railway tracks at a level crossing face a $439 fine and licence three demerit points.
"This is a significant reason not to drive dangerously,” he said.
"Another is between July 2001 and June 2017, there have been 134 collisions involving trains and road vehicles at level crossings throughout the state.”
He said during Rail Safety Week, we will be on the look-out for road users disobeying level crossing controls, drivers who speed near level crossings, and drivers who are concentrating on a mobile phone, rather than level crossings.
Chief Insp McGregor said police are reminding people to not take unnecessary risks.
"You don't know when a train could approach and you may not hear it coming,” he said.
"A minute saved by taking a short cut, is not worth your life and the devastation brought to families and friends”.
He said one of the areas Rail Safety Week focuses on is level crossings and is an opportunity to focus attention on the high consequences of disobeying signs, flashing lights and boom gates at level crossings.
"A single moment of distraction or recklessness could cost someone their life,” he said.
This article first appeared on www.northernstar.com.au
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