New changes to NSW rail safety legislation

Date: Jan 23, 2013

It is widely known that when it comes to transport risks, you are more likely to get into an accident on the way to the airport than once you board the plane.

The question is, how are you choosing to get from your home to the terminal?

There are many risks inherent to traveling via private vehicle. What may seem less obvious however, is that public transport is not without its safety risks too.

You can be injured when the bus or train you are on crashes or when you are hit by a public transport vehicle.

If you do suffer injuries as a result of a public transport accident in NSW, you can make a claim for compensation under the Motor Accidents Compensation Act.

This includes on state transit buses, long distance or transit coaches and light rail.

Time is of the essence in such cases, so be sure to contact personal injury lawyers in Sydney as soon as possible so that they can give you expert legal advice.

There are many factors which can increase the likelihood of a public transport accident, and new rail safety legislation in NSW aims to prevent the occurrence of one such possible cause.

Rail workers in NSW will now be subject to a zero tolerance approach to alcohol testing.

The maximum permissible blood alcohol concentration has fallen from 0.2 to zero for all those working on NSW’s rail network, including drivers.

The state will continue to require 25 per cent of rail safety workers to be tested by their employers, with any positive tests reported to the Independent Transport Safety Regulator (ITSR).

Operators will also be required to conduct post-incident substance tests.

In a statement released this week (January 21), Transport for NSW said that the new standards and the state’s continuing high standards when it comes to drug and alcohol testing would send a strong message to rail workers that endangering the safety of train customers by working while under the influence would not be tolerated.

The new zero-limit means that NSW’s permissible blood alcohol level now matches national standards.

In October 2012, the state signed up to a new national rail safety law which established the National Rail Safety Regulator (NRSR).

Federal minister for infrastructure and transport Anthony Albanese said that simplifying the governance of rail safety regulations was good for “drivers, passengers and the broader public”.

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