Fines Increase For Dangerous Track Crossing To Save Lives

The Andrews Labor Government has more than doubled penalties for crossing train tracks where boom gates are down or where there is not a designated crossing point, in an effort to save lives and reduce trauma for train drivers.

Today Acting Premier, James Merlino, joined Member for Bentleigh, Nick Staikos, at the Centre Road level crossing in Bentleigh, which has seen two fatalities and 25 near misses over the past ten years.

Mr Merlino, said the number of trains hitting cars and pedestrians was too high, and that more needed to be done to deter people from sneaking across the tracks illegally.

The maximum court penalty for unauthorised crossing of train tracks by drivers and cyclists has more than doubled, from $1,467 to $3,033. The infringement for the same offence has also increased from $295 to $607.

The maximum court penalty for unauthorised crossing of tracks by pedestrians has also more than doubled from $738 to $1,517. The infringement penalty has increased from $148 to $379.

Mr Merlino said improving safety was at the core of the Labor Government’s Level Crossing Removal Project, which the Liberals and Greens voted against last week in Parliament.

Despite Liberal-Green opposition, the Andrews Labor Government is getting on with delivering its promise to remove Victoria’s 50 most dangerous and congested level crossings, including Centre Road in Bentleigh, where work will begin this year and the crossing will be removed by 2018.

The new penalties came into force on 1 July 2015.

Quotes attributable to Acting Premier, James Merlino

“People are getting seriously injured and killed on our train network. That’s why we are removing 50 of our most dangerous level crossings, while increasing the fines for illegally crossing the tracks.”

“The Andrews Labor Government has a plan to make our communities, our road network, and our rail system safer and we are not wasting a single day to make it happen.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Public Transport, Jacinta Allan

“Doubling the fines will make people think twice about dangerously sneaking across the tracks.”

“People just need to stop taking chances so they don’t hurt or kill themselves and potentially traumatise train drivers, just to save a few extra minutes.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Bentleigh, Nick Staikos

“I am proud to be part of the Andrews Labor Government that is taking strong action to remove the dangerous and congested Centre Road level crossing – this crossing simply has to go to save lives and improve local safety.”

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