New Zealand has devised a genius but chilling “near-misses” campaign to stop people risking their lives on train tracks and level crossings.
A campaign between KiwiRail and TrackSAFE NZ has led to white crosses being installed at several locations across the country “in memory” of those who were either oblivious or foolish enough to dice with death.
Every day a train driver in New Zealand suffers a near miss. You might make it nine times out of ten, but that tenth time could cost you your life. Don’t run the risk when it comes to crossing railway tracks. #RSW2019 pic.twitter.com/W4VFg4Hf8A
— Auckland Transport (@AklTransport) August 11, 2019
Pedestrians with a cross to bear
Each cross denotes a particular incident where a person or vehicle came within inches of colliding with an oncoming train.
The crosses also have a QR code which, when scanned by a smartphone, plays a video clip of the near-miss in question.
In the 12 months to June 2019 there were over 415 near-misses between people, vehicles and trains across New Zealand – equating to more than one a day.
299 of them were at level crossings.
The impact of near-misses
The powerful campaign is not only aimed at discouraging people from following in the footsteps of those who got lucky, but also to raise awareness of the impact these near-misses have on train drivers.
KiwiRail Group chief executive Greg Miller said, “these close calls are happening daily and they take a huge toll on our locomotive engineers and everyone involved.
“In a lot of cases people are missing death or serious injury by seconds. It is often just luck that they are not killed.
“Although no one gets physically hurt in a near-miss, the driver, other rail staff, witnesses and of course the pedestrian or motorist all experience a level of trauma.”