Railway level crossings

Find out the important things to be aware of around boom gates and railway crossings.

Driving around railway crossings can be dangerous if you don’t know the rules. In fact, in 2015 the Victorian Government started off a major initiative to remove a number of dangerous railway crossings to improve safety and reduce congestion – but there are still a lot remaining. Here, we run through what to remember when you come across one.

Level crossings

Knowing when it’s safe to cross

It’s not safe for drivers or pedestrians to enter a level crossing if:

  • a train is close to approaching
  • a train is on the crossing
  • warning lights are flashing
  • warning bells are ringing
  • the boom or barrier is closed, in the process of closing, or not fully open
  • the road beyond the crossing is blocked.

You need to wait until all warning lights and bells have stopped, the boom gates are fully opened, and the train has passed before you proceed.

What do I do if there aren’t any boom gates installed?

In these circumstances, you need to obey any other signs or line markings in the area and keep a look out for any trains before you continue. If you see one approaching, stop.

Are there special rules for pedestrians?

Pedestrians shouldn’t cross at a level crossing if a pedestrian facility (such as a footpath, bridge or other dedicated structure) is available at or within 20 metres of the crossing.

Where can I go to learn more about the level crossing removal project happening in Victoria?

For more information about works and disruptions, head to Victoria’s Big Build website, or to the Level Crossing Removal Project website.

For more, see rules 120 to 124 of the Victorian Road Safety Road Rules 2017.

The summaries RACV provide on Victorian road rules are based on the Victorian Road Safety Road Rules 2017. We make sure to reference the exact rule where possible. When reading, keep in mind that we’re providing general information, not legal advice. If you’re looking for specific questions on any legal matter, consult with a lawyer for help.