National Level Crossing Safety Strategy
Each year, people continue to lose their lives or are injured at Australia's level crossings causing significant social and economic impacts on individuals, communities and businesses. Record investment in rail and road infrastructure, combined with growing passenger traffic and freight demand, is continuing to increase interactions at level crossings – we need to do more, and we need to do it collaboratively as a nation.
This Strategy represents a commitment to reducing the incidence of fatalities and injuries across Australia's level crossings.
Strategy at a glance
Vision Zero - Zero harm at Australia's level crossings.
To deliver our vision through a collaborative national approach informed by high quality data and stakeholder engagement.
This Strategy is based upon national rail safety data analysis and extensive national engagement with more than 30 organisations from the community, government, road and rail industry providing expertise and insights.
Four key focus areas that will enable the shared delivery of Vision Zero and our strategic objectives.
1. Education and Enforcement
Increase awareness of level crossings that triggers desirable behaviour change in users and reinforce compliance through improved enforcement.
2. Assets, Technology and Innovation
Leverage a combination of asset and technology based solutions that are cost-effective, innovative and shown to reduce the risk of harm.
3. Data Improvement and Knowledge Management
Capture level crossing data in a nationally consistent manner and share analysis that delivers insights to inform practical safety improvements and decisions.
4. National Coordination
Develop a consistent and nationally coordinated approach to improve collaboration, share knowledge and drive actions that will be most effective if implemented nationally to reduce incidents at level crossings.
National Level Crossing Safety Committee
The National Level Crossing Safety Committee ensures a nationally consistent, cooperative and collaborative approach to level crossing safety and governance. It also guides the implementation of actions at a national level to reduce the likelihood of crashes and near hits at level crossings.
The committee is chaired by Ms. Sally Stannard, Director-General of the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads.
National Level Crossing Safety Committee members are representatives from government and regulatory bodies across all Australian jurisdictions.
National Level Crossing Safety Committee (NLCSC) membership organisations:
- Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads
- Transport for New South Wales
- Victoria Department of Transport and Planning
- South Australia Department for Infrastructure and Transport
- Main Roads Western Australia
- Northern Territory Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics
- Tasmania Department of State Growth
- Australian Government Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications & the Arts
- Waka Kotahi New Zealand Transport Agency
- Australian Local Government Association
- Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator
- National Heavy Vehicle Regulator
- TrackSAFE Foundation
- Australasian Railway Association.
The National Level Crossing Safety Committee (NLCSC) commissioned the National Level Crossing Safety Strategy and Work Plan in 2022. The Strategy and Work Plan was approved by the Infrastructure and Transport Senior Officials' Committee (ITSOC) and the Infrastructure and Transport and Minister’s Meeting (ITMM) in 2023.
Development of the National Level Crossing Safety Strategy and Work Plan
The development of the Strategy and Work Plan involved extensive research and collaboration with public sector experts from various government levels, private industry partners in rail and road transport, and rail bodies such as the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator (ONRSR), Australasian Centre for Rail Innovation (ACRI), Australasian Railway Association (ARA), and the TrackSAFE Foundation. The valuable input of public advocacy groups, whose members have been directly affected by incidents at rail level crossings, was also considered during the development process.
The strategic objective of the National Level Crossing Safety Committee is to achieve Vison Zero, Zero harm at Australia's level crossings. This objective is driven by 5 clear principles:
- Improve level crossing user behaviour through education and enforcement.
- Leverage opportunities from emerging technology and innovations.
- Identify opportunities for early, low-cost, and effective safety improvements.
- Support the development of improved data and knowledge on level crossings.
- Increase coordination and sharing between those responsible for level crossing safety.
National Level Crossing Safety 3-Year Work Plan
The National Level Crossing Safety Committee 3-Year Work Plan is an integral part of the National Level Crossing Safety Committee Strategy, providing details of initiatives, actions, measures, and timeframes to deliver the objectives outlined in the strategy. The work plan categorises initiatives into 4 categories that align with the 5 principles of the strategy:
- Education and Enforcement.
- Assets, Technology, and Innovation.
- Data Improvement and Knowledge Management.
- National Coordination.
For the specific initiatives listed in the 3-Year Work Plan, please refer to pages 32 and 33 of the Strategy document.
National Level Crossing Safety Program Management Office
The National Level Crossing Safety Program Management Office (NLCS PMO) was established to support the implementation of the strategy and work plan and foster a consistent approach to level crossing safety treatments Australia wide.
The National Level Crossing Safety Program Management Office (NLCS PMO) leads the coordination of the multi-jurisdictional initiative aimed at improving level crossing safety across Australia through the implementation of the National Level Crossing Safety Strategy 2023-32 and the 3-Year Work Plan.
The objectives of the National Level Crossing Safety Program Management Office are:
- Guide the implementation of the National Level Crossing Safety Strategy and Work Plan.
- Foster a consistent approach and facilitate the adoption of a nationally consistent framework for level crossing safety treatments.
- Engage in cooperative development, trialling, proving, and extending new level crossing treatments that address nationally significant priorities.
- Coordinate state and federal agencies in research, technology, and education to achieve the objectives of the National Level Crossing Safety Strategy and Work Plan.
- Last updated 02 February 2024