NSW drivers continue to risk their lives rather than spend a few minutes waiting at rail crossings, police say.

Officers from the Traffic and Highway Patrol Command will join the Police Transport Command patrolling for drivers taking risks at level crossings and people trespassing around trains during Rail Safety Week, which begins on Monday.

Across NSW there are about 180 deaths every year involving people walking on train tracks or in rail corridors and taking risks at level crossings.

Police say 306 drivers were booked for level crossing offences over the last year, a nine per cent jump on 2011-12 figures.

"Motorists who queue across level crossings or who fail to stop when signalled to are putting themselves at risk of serious injury as well as breaking the law," Traffic and Highway Patrol Command Superintendent Bob Ryan said.

"The difference between waiting for a train to pass and thinking you can beat it may mean the loss of your life."

Police Transport Command Superintendent Darren Bennett said rail trespassers and vandals weren't just risking their own lives when they ventured onto tracks or into rail tunnels.

"The impact of a tragedy can be felt by train drivers and passengers for years to come," he said.

A motorist entering a level crossing against lights and bells can be fined $405 and lose three demerit points, while a driver who enters a level crossing when the road is blocked can be fined another $405 and three demerit points.

 

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