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September 27, 2012

Art reaches out for rail safety

“Since we launched the Rail Safety Song in August we have been getting some great responses from organisations, schools and the community about how the rail safety message is really getting through,” says Veolia Transport Auckland Manager – Safety and Compliance, Bob Lupton.

Veolia train driver, Lawrence Foakes, was inspired by his love of music and wrote the Rail Safety Song because he saw that kids learn best when they are having fun.“Music is a great way to reach young minds and help them remember important information” says Lawrence.

His theory was proven right when Takanini School reported two students doing exactly as the song says. Impressively the boys had watched as an adult dove across the tracks after the first train had passed by narrowly avoiding getting hit by a second train coming through the crossing.

Safety stars, Kepa and Tipene knew that trains can come along the tracks “any time any direction, anywhere” as the song says and waited for the bells to stop. As a reward Veolia presented the boys with certificates and took them and some friends on a tour of Britomart.

“We are exceptionally proud of the work staff, the community and the kids themselves have done to improve rail safety awareness.“

We aim to give the kids the information to make better choices so when they are faced with a safety risk they can save their own lives, it is a rewarding part of the job,” says Bob Lupton.

Click here or visit YouTube to download a copy of the animated Rail Safety Song.

STATION INSTALLATION HIGHLIGHTS HEROISM                                                       

NZ Police are recruiting young leaders to fight the battle against unsafe behaviour with a street art installation on Kingsland Train Station inspired by an act of heroism that occurred on the tracks.

Constable Basra earned himself a ‘better work story’ when thinking on his feet; he pulled a seemingly intoxicated man to safety from the railway tracks, mere moments before the train arrived.

It is this incident that is recorded in spray paint on the side of the station platform and the striking imagery makes the scene and the dangers of train tracks come alive for patrons waiting on the platforms.

"It's our job to not only respond to incidents, but to help prevent them from happening in the first place - people and train tracks just shouldn't mix. The art certainly raises people’s awareness that the tracks aren’t a safe place to be, ever” he says.

Veolia Managing Director, Graham Sibery, is grateful for the work the Police have done to prosecute offenders misbehaving on trains and keep trains safe for customers and staff late at night.

“We have had some serious staff assaults this year and so we appreciate the contribution the Police have made to prevent these incidents and help ensure staff and customers are safe,” he says.

“Safety is always Veolia’s number one priority.”