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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 5, Issue 9 (April 1, 1931)

Safety First Movement

Safety First Movement.

A good deal of well-intentioned fun has been directed at the Safety First movement of late, following the somewhat caustic remarks concerning Safety First emanating from a well-known flying woman. “I do not believe in Safety First, because I do not think it gets us anywhere; but I do believe in taking every precaution you can, and then taking risks.” Thus broadcasted Miss Amy Johnson on the conclusion of her England-Australia “hop.”

As a matter of fact, the idea underlying the “Safety First” movement as we know it in the railway world, is not solely one of appealing to human fears. Rather is it one of building up affirmative and constructive thought, whereby there are developed the benefits and advantages of safety in contrast with the disastrous consequences of its neglect. “I do believe in taking every precaution you can,” says Miss Johnson. And that is precisely what the disciples of “Safety First” have been seeking to impress upon the railwayman's mind for the past two decades. The main principles of Safety First, Accident Prevention, or whatever you prefer to call the movement, are sound in the extreme. Railwaymen the world over would be well advised to be ever watchful of their own safety and of that of their fellows, for nothing is of greater value than human life, and nothing is easier to destroy or blemish through careless action.