Railway level crossings Lessons Note

Driving over a railway level crossing incorrectly is extremely dangerous as a collision with a train is likely to have a fatal outcome. Always slow down to a speed at which you, if necessary, can stop when nearing a railway level crossing. Trains have very long stopping distances and are unable to stop in time for a car on the crossing.

Warning signs are usually placed well in advance. Listen and look both ways before crossing the railway - even if there are no flashing lights or other indications of an approaching train. Some railway level crossings have a yellow box marking, which means keep clear at all times.

Never stop on a railway level crossing!

Railway Level Crossing with Flashing Signals ahead

Crossings without signals, gates or booms

Be extremely careful when approaching a crossing without signals as a train can come at any time without warning. It's even more dangerous if the view of the train tracks is limited (e.g. blocked by building or vegetation). In these situations, slow down, listen for trains and look in both directions before passing.

Railway Level Crossing on Road ahead

Never enter a crossing unless safe

Never drive onto a level crossing while a train is approaching, never move until all warning lights have stopped flashing, and never cross a railway level crossings until the gates/booms are fully open.

If you have stopped to let a train pass, don’t move until you’re certain that no other train is approaching.

Entering/leaving a level crossing

You must stop at a crossing and not enter if:

  • there is a boom/gate across the road
  • there is a stop sign
  • warning lights/bells are flashing
  • the road beyond the crossing is blocked (e.g. by slow-moving or stopped vehicles). Stay behind the stop line until there is room to get across safely. Always make sure that you don’t get stuck on the railway.

Vehicles carrying dangerous, explosive or flammable goods have to stop between 3 - 15m before the crossing.

If there is a Give Way sign, you may proceed with caution without stopping if there are no trains nearby.

Some railway level crossing signs

Railway Crossbuck

This sign indicates a railway crossing. You should be very careful when you proceed, and follow any additional signs.

Railway Level Crossing ahead (left) Railway Level Crossing on Road ahead (skewed) (left) Railway Level Crossing on Side Road (left) Railway Level Crossin on T-junction (left)
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