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

Cuvrent Comments

page 17

Cuvrent Comments

Through the Southern Alps.
Motor Cars by Rail.

The success of the special loading provisions made for handling motor cars by train between Springfield and Otira, through the tunnel section of the trans-island railway, is exemplified by the increasing traffic carried by this means. Reports to hand show that, especially during holiday periods, a great deal of use is made of this easy means of transport for motorists between East and West. For instance, last Christmas Day fifteen cars were trucked through the tunnel. No one who has traversed the dreary country by road between Porter's Pass and Arthur's Pass, including the treacherous crossing of the Upper Waimakariri, will be surprised that motorists find the railway the cheapest and best way in the long run, for overcoming the alpine barrier between Canterbury and Westland.

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.

Accident Insurance.

Safety of travel on the railways is incidentally acknowledged in certain free accident insurance schemes. Thus we find the Auckland Star in a recent issue holding out the inducement, to subscribers, of free insurance “up to £4,000 in the event of husband and wife being killed in a railway accident.” The same scheme provides a benefit of only £250 in the case of a motor car fatality.

In view of the New Zealand Railways five years’ world's record in the safe transport of over 125 million railway passengers—it is not surprising that circulation stimulators should find backing the railway so heavily in preference to the motor a safe security on an insurance gamble—they have irrefutable statistics to justify their optimism.

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