Here comes Rail Safety Week — always look for trains
7 August 2018. Rail Safety Week 2018 gives schools an important reminder to share safety messages within their communities.
Look Right, Look Left, For Trains — “Whatever your look, always look for trains” — is the message of this year’s Rail Safety Week.
The week runs from 13 – 19 August. Young pedestrians in our towns and cities are one of the main audiences, so schools are encouraged to take part. Curriculum resources and posters with key messages are available.
Rail Safety Week is led by KiwiRail and TrackSAFE NZ with support from NZ Transport Agency, Auckland Transport, NZ Police, Transdev Auckland, Transdev Wellington, Greater Wellington Regional Council and other councils.
The week will be launched by Minister of Transport Phil Twyford at Newmarket Railway Station in Auckland. In attendance will be students, staff and parents from Newmarket Primary School.
The school is starting a new walking school bus route from the station because many families live in nearby apartment buildings, as Deputy Principal Virginia Kung explains.
“With the railway lines being at the heart of Newmarket and a focal point for many of our families the school endorses Rail Safety Week,” says Virginia.
“For this reason, we purposely planned the launch of our walking school bus from the Newmarket Railway Station to coincide with Rail Safety Week to heighten awareness for our families and community.”
Meanwhile, several schools in Wellington have signed up to rail safety tours which include a train trip and seeing inside the driver’s cab of an electric train.
Important messages for young pedestrians to share
TrackSAFE NZ Manager Megan Drayton says looking for trains is a simple action but it’s not being done every time people cross railway tracks. Distraction and complacency are two behaviours that increase risk.
“Rail Safety Week 2018 leads with the premise that no matter how you look for trains, it is important that you do look, and you look properly and carefully.”
Here are some key messages that schools can encourage students to share with their peers in creative ways.
- Whatever your look, always look for trains.
- Always obey warning signs at a level crossing.
- If a train has passed or is stationary at a station, always check both ways again to make sure another train is not coming. Two tracks might mean there is a second train.
- Only cross at formed pedestrian crossings or an overpass or underpass.
- Remove headphones around railway tracks.
- Only cross if there are no trains in sight.
- Trains can come at any time, from either direction.
Flexible lesson plans written by Pam Hook are free for teachers to download and use. Aimed at Years 1-8, these integrate English, Maths, Science and Social Sciences. The theme is that citizens work together to create safe journeys for everyone around the electrified rail network.
Look for posters, fliers and more information on the TrackSAFE NZ website.