National Farmers' Federation

NFF backs petition for improved train lighting to save lives

The National Farmers’ Federation has thrown its support behind a petition to improve train lighting to save lives on regional roads.

The petition asks the Australian Parliament to implement legislation requiring mandatory rotating beacon lights on the front and sides of trains and rolling stock.

National Farmers’ Federation President David Jochinke said the NFF strongly supported the families who had advocated for decades for better train illumination after they lost loved ones.

The Improve Train Lighting and Level Crossing Safety Group comprises 12 rural families, and is led by Lara Jensen whose brother was killed in a triple fatality at an unlit crossing in 2000 in Western Australia. A coronial inquest into the crash found no one in the vehicle had seen the train due to inadequate train lighting and no warning signs on the approach to the crossing.

“These families have been through hell, but they don’t want sympathy, they want action,” Mr Jochinke said.

“Increased train lighting is a simple and sensible solution that will save lives on regional roads.”

Between 1 July 2014 and 31 December 2022 there were 7,839 near hits, 322 collisions, 39 fatalities and 49 serious injuries at Australian level crossings.

“Despite decades of campaigning by families for improved lighting and multiple reports backing this, we’ve failed to see action.

“I encourage everyone interested in supporting road and rail safety to sign the petition. It would be unforgiveable not to increase train lighting to save lives.”

The petition, launched by the group with federal parliamentarian Hon Melissa Price MP and WA MLA, Merome Beard, can be found here: https://www.aph.gov.au/e-petitions/petition/EN6369.