Rail Trespassers To Face Tougher Penalties

Rail Trespassers To Face Tougher Penalties

Western Australia Minister for Transport Rita Saffioti

Tougher Penalties Proposed For Rail Trespassers

Victor P Taffa

  • Proposal to increase fines to deter risky behaviour on Western Australia’s rail network
  • Increase in serious incidents prompts review of rail trespass penalties
  • Tougher fines and greater powers for transit officers to be pursued through legislation changes

McGowan Government will seek to increase penalties for offenders who trespass on Public Transport Authority property, to reduce dangerous incidents.

“There has been a number of recent high profile incidents that could have easily resulted in serious injury or death.” Minister for Transport Rita Saffioti said.

“Recent train surfing and bridge jumping incident on the Fremantle Line is an example of the stupid behaviour we need to stop.”

Proposed changes will make it easier for the PTA to impose harsher penalties on offenders, without entering into an often prolonged and costly court process.

Most trespass offences are currently dealt with under the Government Railways Act 1904, which imposes a maximum fine of $200.

State Government proposes to increase the maximum fine under section 48 of the Act to $5,000, which reflects the cost to the PTA per court appearance and provides a significant penalty for more serious trespassing incidents.

Harsher penalty is intended to discourage premeditated and deliberate acts of trespass, such as train surfing.

Currently, Western Australia does not have the ability to issue on-the-spot infringements for trespass or issue fines through the mail.

A proposed amendment to the Public Transport Authority Regulations 2003 would also enable transit officers to issue on-the-spot fines of $200.

Maximum possible penalty for a charge of trespass under the Criminal Code remains a $12,000 fine and 12 months’ imprisonment; however, this legislation is not frequently applied to cases of rail trespass.

Abbreviations:

PTA                 Public Transport Authority