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Safety at level crossings highlighted

South African companies and organisations were involved in this year’s International Level Crossing Awareness Day (ILCAD), in an effort to raise awareness and improve the safety of pedestrians and motorists at rail level crossings.

Construction materials group AfriSam, private freight rail operator Traxtion, and the Rail Safety Regulator (RSR) jointly participated in promoting the global campaign.

AfriSam says that its commitment to “Zero Harm” means that it prioritises the safety and well-being of its employees and the community, reflected in its dedication to proactive engagement, education and fostering a culture of responsible behaviour at level crossings.

RSR South Africa spokesperson and executive: media and communications Madelein Williams notes that rail safety often faces challenges when motorists and pedestrians fail to adhere to level crossing regulations, adding with concern that 47 injuries were recorded between 2020/21 and 2021/22.

To commemorate ILCAD, Traxtion, RSR and AfriSam collaborated on a private siding line connecting to the Transnet line, specifically selecting the busy Ulco crossing in the Northern Cape. The crossing serves both pedestrians, including school children, and motorists, posing potential risks and making it a vital location to address level crossing incidents.

“We call upon all rail operators to join us following this awareness campaign to ensure compliance with safety regulations for the sake of the public and railway operators at level crossings,” urged Traxtion SHEQ compliance manager and a former train driver Thando Makoyi.

AfriSam says that, together with its partners, it is dedicated to promoting rail safety, saving lives and fostering a culture of responsible behaviour at level crossings.