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Controlled level crossings

Even though trains are much less common in many areas than they were 50 years ago, you still need to know your driving obligations at controlled level crossings. Rule 293 outlines the rules around driving over crossings, and whether you must stop and wait. Trains cannot brake quickly due to their weight and the relatively low friction on the tracks.

Rule 293

Most crossings have traffic light signals with a steady amber light, twin flashing red stop lights and an audible alarm for pedestrians. They may have full, half or no barriers.


  • You MUST always obey the flashing red stop lights.
  • You MUST stop behind the white line across the road.
  • Keep going if you have already crossed the white line when the amber light comes on.
  • Do not reverse onto or over a controlled crossing.
  • You MUST wait if a train goes by and the red lights continue to flash. This means another train will be passing soon.
  • Only cross when the lights go off and barriers open.
  • Never zig-zag around half-barriers, they lower automatically because a train is approaching.
  • At crossings where there are no barriers, a train is approaching when the lights show.


Darren has owned several companies in the automotive, advertising and education industries. He has run driving theory educational websites since 2010.

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