A Victorian woman learned a stiff lesson when she was slapped with a $758 fine for crossing the railway.

Although the boom gate was up, and the bells had stopped ringing, the lights were still flashing at the time – which means it is illegal to cross the train tracks.

Australian Rail Track Corporation data shows that every year there are on average 166 collisions between trains and people or vehicles, including 35 fatalities, in Australia.

Sam Kurikawa said she was shocked by the high fine and didn’t know she’d committed an illegal act until she was fined.

“It was completely news to me, as I explained to the police officer,” Ms Kurikawa said.

“Of course I knew I had to yield at a boom gate but I assumed once it was up and the bells had stopped I was good to go.”

She said she was “very stressed” by the high fine and was even more surprised to learn that her vehicle could be impounded.

”I’m on a low income and was going to a one-off job more than one-and-a-half hour return journey away. The fine was about six times the value of that work,” Ms Kurikawa said.

“What was worse, they informed me that my vehicle could be impounded, which would cause serious difficulties for me.

“I was quite fearful and extremely regretful that my ignorance and a small mistake could have quite serious consequences.”

Thankfully Ms Kurikawa’s fine was later reduced.

But if you are caught entering a level crossing while signals are still flashing and the train is visible, you can expect a big fine in most states.

  • NSW – $448 fine and three demerit point
  • ACT – $432 fine and three demerit points
  • VIC – $500 fine and three demerit points
  • NT – $500 fine and three demerit points
  • QLD – $391 fine and three demerit points
  • SA – $454 fine and three demerit points