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Rail Safety Week begins today, and Associate Transport Minister Tim Macindoe is encouraging everyone to stay alert around railway tracks and trains.

“Last year, there were 101 near-misses between pedestrians and trains at level crossings and railway stations, and there have already been 58 near-misses this year,” Mr Macindoe says.

“Rail Safety Week raises awareness about rail safety, and encourages safe and sensible behaviour around trains and tracks.

“In urban areas, the increasing use of headphones around railway tracks is particularly worrying, as their use has been a contributing factor in a number of recent fatalities, as well as near-misses,” Mr Macindoe says.

“This year’s focus of ‘Remove your headphones. Remove your risk’ encourages pedestrians to pay attention when crossing train tracks ─ as trains can come from both directions at any time,” Mr Macindoe says.

In rural areas, the ‘Expect Trains’ billboards will continue to reinforce the message that trains can come from either direction at any time.

“Rail Safety Week is a timely reminder that we all need to take care around railway tracks, crossings and trains all year-round,” Mr Macindoe says.

Rail Safety Week runs from 14 until 20 August 2017.

To find out more about Rail Safety Week, visit www.tracksafe.co.nz

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