Tom Koutsantonis MP South Australia
Minister for Transport and Infrastructure
Sunday 6 August 2023
Too close to disaster: Impact of rail near-misses in the spotlight this Rail Safety Week
Close calls between trains and pedestrians remain etched in the minds of the drivers involved long after the incident.
This Rail Safety Week (7-13 August) drivers from Adelaide’s train network are sharing their stories about how these incidents affect them, in a new campaign launched today. The campaign hopes to stop train passengers in their tracks with powerful video messages displayed at stations across Adelaide, featuring train drivers detailing their experience and the ongoing psychological, physical and mental impacts of near miss experiences.
The videos, which will be location-specific and accessible via a QR code, include heart-stopping footage from a range of locations across the Adelaide Metro rail network. In the past 12 months, there were more than 260 near misses involving a pedestrian or cyclist across Adelaide’s metropolitan rail network. That’s about five people every week risking their lives crossing rail tracks in front of oncoming trains.
The campaign is a joint initiative between the South Australian Government and Keolis Downer. It particularly focuses on the emotional, physical and mental toll of being in the driver’s seat in the seconds leading up to potential tragedy and will be promoted across social media, digital advertising and radio.
Drivers involved in near misses have reported severe and lasting trauma, including fear, anxiety and feelings of helplessness.
As part of a broader national Rail Safety Week campaign, regional South Australians are being told to ‘Expect the Unexpected’, a reminder that trains in regional areas can come at any time, day or night, including when road users are least expecting them – and it only takes one moment to change a person’s life forever.