Video footage released on Tuesday shows just how close a boy came to being hit by a train at Dapto.
In the video shot at the Bong Bong Road level crossing on July 25, two boys ride their scooters across the tracks just as the boomgates start to come down.
About 10 seconds later, a third boy runs across with a train visible in the distance.
Then nearly 20 second later, with the northbound train literally a few metres from the level crossing, another boy races across.
Were he to trip over a rail and fall, he would have been run over by the four-carriage train just seconds later.
Watch the video below
At the start of Rail Safety Week, it’s a sobering reminder of how some people are too casual about the dangers.
It can take up to 325 metres – more than three football fields – for a train to stop. That’s three times the distance a car travelling at the same speed needed.
Even when a train is slowing down while approaching a station, it still needs some time to pull up.
Which is a lot more time that the kid with the scooter would have had left if he’d tripped.
Transport Minister Andrew Constance released the footage at Dapto station to highlight the dangers.
“This is scary stuff,” he said.
“People need to realise they are dealing with a 400-tonne vehicle, the chances of surviving if something goes wrong are very, very low,” Mr Constance said.
People running across level crossings in the Illawarra is a regular occurence.
The chances of surviving if something goes wrong are very, very low.Andrew Constance
In recent years Bellambi was the worst in the state for instances of people running in front of trains at level crossings.
The 2016-17 NSW Trains annual report rated the South Coast line as the worst in the state when it came to instances of rail trespass.
Mr Constance also highlighted the issue of “train surfing”, where people climb onto the back of a train at the station and simply hang on.
Last year, more than 110 people were reported “surfing” trains across the network, up from 43 people the year before.
“It only takes a train accelerating quickly or braking suddenly to shake someone onto the tracks,” Mr Constance said.
“If the fall itself doesn’t kill you, the next train coming along probably will.”