Rail Safety Act 2006

The Rail Safety Act 2006 is a law enacted by the Parliament of the State of Victoria, Australia, and is the prime statute regulating the safety of rail operations in Victoria. The Act was developed as part of the Transport Legislation Review conducted by the Department of Transport between 2004 and 2010 and is aimed at preventing deaths and injuries arising from rail operations.

The Xtrapolis trains operated by Metro Trains on the suburban train network in Melbourne provide an example of the types of rail operations regulated by the Rail Safety Act. Melbourne's suburban railway network consists of 16 electrified lines, the central City Loop subway, and 200 stations, with a total length of 372 km of electrified lines. The network is primarily at ground level, with a number of level crossings, and tracks shared with freight trains and V/Line regional services.
Tram operations are also covered by the Rail Safety Act. Trams are a major form of public transport in Melbourne which is home to the largest tram network in the world,[1] (following the dismantling of much of Saint Petersburg's tramway tracks early in the 21st century). Melbourne's network consists of 245 km (152.2 mi) of track, 500 trams,[2] 28 routes, and 1,813 tram stops.[3]

The Act was the State's first dedicated statute on the subject and replaced provisions in the former Transport Act 1983.[4] The Act forms part of the transport policy and legislation framework in Victoria set by the Transport Integration Act 2010,[5] and its provisions are subject to the overarching transport system vision, transport system objectives and decision making principles set out in the Transport Integration Act. The Act was passed in early 2006 and commenced on 1 August of that year. The Act also established Victoria's first independent transport safety regulator, the Director, Public Transport Safety. In 2010 the statutory office of Director, Public Transport Safety was replaced by the Director, Transport Safety. Though functionally independent, the Director is part of the Department of Transport and reports to the relevant Ministers.[6]

The responsible Minister for the Act is the Minister for Public Transport, currently Jacinta Allan.