Why Must a Driver Toe the Line at Level Crossings?


The New South Wales rail network has over 2700 level crossings on operational lines, excluding private rail yards, as quoted by the NSW government transport authority. A handful of them are functioning in Sydney too. So, Sydney drivers must exercise care when moving around these level crossings as crashes between trains and vehicles form a significant road safety risk.

When there are potential threats to road safety, which is unfortunately anytime you drive, you should have the best car insurance in Sydney as a backup in the least. Of course, this will help protect you financially, but not from accidents themselves. When it comes to avoiding train-car crashes, you can avert coming face to face with a collision by paying more attention to your driving speed levels, the situation around you and exercising caution at level crossing signs.

Before we explore train crossings, let’s quickly explore car insurance. How do you find the policy most suitable for you? Discuss with other car owners you know, plus research on the web, and request a car insurance online from various insurers. You could then purchase a policy that well suits your needs.

In this article, we guide our driver readers on the driving etiquette to observe at the level crossings. The security of the drivers’ community is our chief concern. On account of this, we ask people to scan carefully through the piece of information provided here.

How to identify a level crossing?

In these areas, a railway line crosses the road. The presence of these crossings is shown by road signs and coloured light systems.

When shouldn’t you enter a crossing?

1. Obviously, don’t enter if you sense in any way a potential peril of crashing into a train. With a train, you will almost always be stopped at the crossing by a lowered gate, loud warning bell and flashing lights. Don’t be tempted to race the lowering gate arm – stay composed and wait for the train to pass.

2. If there isn’t this infrastructure to warn you then look closely around you and well into the distance along with both directions of the tracks. If you notice a train on the line, approaching the crossing, or about to enter the crossing, then halt your ride until they pass.

3. The complexity increases when there are multiple functional lines/tracks. Be vigilant and look at both sides if a train is approaching. Then look again a second and a third time. You never know from which direction they may appear.

4. Check for obstructions or other vehicles ahead that don’t permit you to cross it completely. Always drive under the assumption that a train is approaching from either direction. Pass through the crossing only when you are completely sure nothing is going to hinder driving.

5. You will likely also see a line marking the point you should stop your car to wait, well before the crossing, plus a large X marked on the road in front of that. Do not go beyond the line until the gate arm is lifted and all warning signals are completed.

6. Pay heed to the stop signs, whether accompanied by alarm signals or not. Stop as close as possible to the stop line or the stop sign.

Parking near level crossings

The biggest mistake you could make is parking your vehicle quite close to the crossing. You may meet with an ill-fate if you choose to do so. Your car insurance from Sydney will allow you to repair the damage to the car, but not to you!

Make sure you maintain a distance of a minimum of 20 metres from the closest part of your parked ride to the rails/tracks.


Incorporate good driving habits into your travels and be prudent to stay safe on roads. Plus, source an online car insurance quote and get a policy to handle repairs needed due to any unforeseen road incidents.

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