Rail safety messages to spread
A hard-hitting campaign that alerts people to the dangers and consequences of trespass and anti-social behaviour on trains and at train stations is being rolled out across the passenger rail network.
Planning and Infrastructure Minister Alannah MacTiernan said the campaign, which had first been trialled on the Armadale rail line with impressive results, was being extended to the Midland, Fremantle, Clarkson and Mandurah lines.
Ms MacTiernan said national Rail Safety Week was an ideal time to launch the next phase of the Public Transport Authority’s (PTA) ‘Stay off the Tracks’ campaign.
“By using graphic images and messages to grab the attention of commuters, we improved the safety of the Armadale line and reduced the incidence of trespass and anti-social behaviour,” she said.
“As a result, we have also improved the quality of the journey for train passengers.
“We are committed to making sure passengers can use Perth’s rail network safely and ‘Stay off the Tracks’ is an effective way to ensure our safety messages are heard loud and clear.”
From last October, when the Armadale trial started, to mid-May, the average weekly number of incidents fell by 24 per cent from seven to 5.3 incidents.
At the same time, trespass on the rail system dropped 14 per cent.
The Minister said that during Rail Safety Week, more than 122,500 homes across Perth would receive a rail safety ‘call-to-action’ kit in their letterboxes.
The kit encouraged residents to stay off the tracks and report a crime if they saw one. The kit includes a fridge magnet and wallet card and will provide quick access to the phone number to call for help or to report incidents.
As well as safety signage and advertising, the program includes a comprehensive education program ‘Right Track’ for schools and youth outreach centres.
PTA Manager of Security Steve Furmedge said educating Perth’s youth about the risks of using public transport was paramount.
“Through ‘Right Track’, we have reached nearly 7,000 young people on the Armadale line,” Mr Furmedge said.
“Our aim now is to continue educating students that committing a crime or taking risks on or around trains and buses can have life-long physical and psychological consequences for themselves, their families, other passengers, Transperth staff and emergency workers.
“Dedicated PTA education officers and transit officers will work with schools along all rail lines this year to deliver an educational DVD and provide teachers with a complete public transport safety resource kit.”
‘Stay off the Tracks’ ambassador and double amputee Jonathan Beninca will also visit schools and youth centres across the metropolitan area and is featured in many of the safety initiative’s graphic images. Jonathan played an active role in implementing ‘Stay off the Tracks’ on the Armadale line.
Rail Safety Week activities are being organised in every State and Territory across Australia and New Zealand.
For more information on Rail Safety Week, contact the Australasian Railway Association or visit https://tracksafefoundation.com.au/rail-safety-week/