Management of Safety Risks at Level Crossings

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Tabled: 24 March 2010

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 Transport.

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.







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