The audit examined the rate of progress
in improving safety and reducing accidents at level crossings by
assessing the management of these risks.
The government released the Towards
Zero strategy in November 2009 to eliminate deaths at level
crossings. This strategy was developed by the Victorian Railway
Crossing Steering Committee, led by the Department of
The department has improved the way it
manages level crossing safety through the safety steering
committee. However, the department should strengthen the framework
by, taking better account of the rail managers’ views on risk,
better monitoring and managing the Towards Zero strategy
and improving the understanding of what causes collisions.
The decline in level crossing collisions
over the past 10 years suggests that the department’s actions have
improved level crossing safety when it is recognised that risk of
conflict between road traffic and trains has risen with increased
volumes. However, the department needs to improve how it measures
the cost-effectiveness of its programs, understand why charges for
level crossing upgrades vary and improve the information it
publishes on the strategy.
The audit concluded that the rate of
progress in improving safety and reducing accidents has been
satisfactory. However, there are elements of the risk management
framework and its application that can be improved.