- New legislation to significantly increase rail trespass penalties introduced today
- Maximum fine for rail trespass will increase from $200 to $5000
- Change designed to deter dangerous, risk taking offences
- Category B incidents 'that may have the potential to cause a serious accident' have risen by more than 70 per cent from 510 in 2017-18 to 885 in 2018-19
Transport Minister Rita Saffioti today introduced the Government Railways Amendment Bill 2019 to Parliament which will significantly increase penalties for trespassing on the rail network.
Under the proposed legislation, fines for offenders who trespass on Public Transport Authority property jumps from a maximum of $200 to a maximum of $5000.
The increase is intended to discourage premeditated and deliberate acts of trespass, including offences such as train-surfing and the incident in 2018 when a man jumped off the top of a train crossing the Fremantle Bridge.
Under the Rail Safety National Law Act, 'incidents that may have the potential to cause a serious incident' are classed as Category B offences and must be reported to the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator.
In 2017-18 there were 510 offences reported - in 2018-19 this rose by more than 70 per cent to 885 incidents.
Under the Criminal Code the maximum trespass penalty is a $12,000 fine and 12 months imprisonment, however, this legislation is rarely applied to cases of rail trespass.
Comments attributed to Transport Minister Rita Saffioti:
"Trespassing on railway lines can result in serious injury or death and it's important we do everything in our power to stop it happening.
"Despite awareness campaigns by the PTA, incidents of trespass in WA have increased by more than 70 per cent over the past year, with more than 885 incidents of trespass recorded.
"Today's legislation aims to address this and deter would be offenders - the increase of the fine from $200 to $5000 demonstrates how serious we are about stopping this sort of behavior.
"In particular, the sporadic incidents of train-surfing, and last year's bridge-jumping incident on the Fremantle Line are examples of the stupid and unsafe behaviour we want to stop.
"When something goes wrong, it drastically impacts a lot of people - commuters, first responders and PTA staff just to name a few - and that's why we need to prevent it happening."
Minister's office - 6552 5500