News, Police Rounds

Rail campaign focuses on Bellambi

crossing signBELLAMBI will be the focus of a police campaign on rail safety over the next five weeks.

The few minutes it takes to stop at a level crossing and wait for a train to pass by, could be the few minutes that change your life, police have warned as the rail safety campaign begins in the Illawarra.

Police will be targeting the level crossing at Bellambi Lane.

From 2001 to 2012 there have been 112 collisions involving trains and vehicles at level crossings throughout the State.

The crackdown is a joint initiative by the NSW Police Force, Transport for NSW, and Roads and Maritime Services.

Acting Superintendent Greg Lynch, NSW Police Force’s State Highway Patrol Commander, said the operation was all about improving driver behaviour and saving lives.

“Police working on previous level crossing enforcement campaigns around the state have detected a number of drivers using mobile phones as they negotiate level crossings,” Acting Superintendent Lynch said.

“It is frightening that motorists are using their phone when they should be concentrating on their driving. When you think about it, it could be the last phone call or text someone ever makes.

“Perhaps on an even more disturbing front police involved in these campaigns are constantly finding people who think they can drive or walk against the red warning light.

“For a person to be patient at a level crossing only takes a few minutes out of their day.

“People should consider that few minutes out of their day is nothing when compared to potentially months of rehabilitation after they have been involved in a crash with a train.

“A red light at a rail level crossing means the same thing as a red traffic light – do not cross. It is that simple.”

About Mick Roberts

A newspaper journalist, writer and local historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of pubs, inns and associated industries in the Sydney and Illawarra regions of NSW for over 30 years. He is currently working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides authoring a number of history books, Mick has owned and operated several community newspapers. He was one time editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limted), Sydney based, City News, and is now with Torch Publications.

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