Safety mes­sage out there

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

One of New Zealand’s best­known crick­eters will never stop beat­ing the drum about be­ing safe around rail cross­ings.

Chris Cairns spear­headed Rail Safety Week last week, in its sixth year, which aims to urge pedes­tri­ans and mo­torists to act re­spon­si­bly around cross­ings. His sis­ter Louise was killed at a level cross­ing in 1993 when the train she was a pas­sen­ger on was hit by a truck that had failed to stop.

Mr Cairns told Kapi-Mana News that while the fo­cus in the past has been on mo­torists, this year it was pedes­tri­ans. Since 2000, 147 pedes­tri­ans have died on rail­way tracks, with 126 of these classed as tres­pass – peo­ple tak­ing short cuts across tracks, us­ing tracks as a foot­path or loi­ter­ing around rail­way prop­erty.

There have been 30 tres­pass­ing in­ci­dents in the past seven months, seven in this re­gion.

Mr Cairns, po­lice and two ac­tors dressed as rail cross­ings were at the Lin­den Ave cross­ing in Tawa on Mon­day to pro­mote be­ing safe when walk­ing across rail­way lines.

‘‘ The amount of peo­ple us­ing trains is trend­ing up, but they are not tak­ing that aware­ness fac­tor with them. You see it so of­ten – they have their iPods or phones on or just ig­nore the bells and bar­ri­ers. You shouldn’t rely on your hear­ing, you need to use your eyes. One death is too many and we want com­muters, walk­ers and schoolkids to ap­pre­ci­ate the en­vi­ron­ment they’re in.’’

Mr Cairns said the ef­fect on rail staff when some­one is injured or killed on rail cross­ings or tracks must be con­sid­ered as well.

He also trav­elled to the West Coast, New Ply­mouth, Tau­ranga, Auck­land and Ash­bur­ton to de­liver his mes­sage.

Care­ful cross­ing: Chris Cairns and one of two ac­tors in cross­ing cos­tumes handed out ‘Use Your Brain, Tracks Are For Trains’ leaflets last week. Flynn Cu­bitt from Tawa In­ter­me­di­ate got the mes­sage.

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