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Facts

Near collisions

Every week, on every railway line in New Zealand, there are many ‘near collisions’ where vehicles or people are almost hit by a train.

A near collision can either be at a level crossing or elsewhere on the railway tracks.

Locomotive engineers (train drivers) are obliged to report all near collisions, and if you are seen driving, walking or cycling in front of a train your details will be passed on to the Police. 

Statistics also show that motorists and pedestrians continue to take unnecessary risks at level crossings or fail to follow the warning signs.

  • In 2011 there were 113 recorded near collisions on the rail corridor. 
  • From August 2010 to the end of 2011 there were 193 near collisions between vehicles and trains.  
  • 37 percent of all near collisions since August 2010 occurred at crossings protected by barrier arms.
  • 76 percent of near collisions since August 2010 occurred at crossings with either flashing lights and bells or barrier arms.

Warning signs are there to protect motorists and pedestrians – always pay attention to them and stop, look and listen for trains every time.

Near collisions have an effect on train drivers, with some saying that near misses can be one of the hardest parts of driving trains. 

In 2010 the Chris Cairns Foundation ran a nationwide campaign aimed at reducing the number of collisions and near collisions at level crossings. 

The campaign also spread the message that train drivers are reporting everything that they see to the Police in the hope that motorists and pedestrians would be less likely to take dangerous risks

Read about locomotive engineer Ian Thornton's first hand experiences with near collisions and the impact they have.

Always remember

Double check there is space on the other side of the crossing for your vehicle.


Your stories
  • Ian Thornton “I've lost count of how many near misses I've had”
Latest news

Collision a Tragic Reminder of Risks

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Today’s level crossing collision is a tragic reminder of the risks that are present around trains and the care that motorists need to take around railway crossings, according to TrackSAFE NZ.   Read more