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Man who survived being run over by train as toddler helps raise awareness for Rail Safety Week

In 1985, 22-month-old Dan Hanara was called the "miracle baby" after he survived being run over by a train, escaping with just an injured leg.

Now an adult, Mr Hanara is raising awareness for Rail Safety Week, which kicks off today.

When he was just a toddler he managed to escape from his mum while she was busy with the other kids.

The train driver was unable to stop in time and the engine ended up running over him, knocking him onto the track.

While he was recovering in hospital his father said it was "a super miracle".

Thirty years later, Mr Hanara is working as a mechanical engineer in Sydney - where safety is a huge focus - but he's home for Rail Safety Week to urge caution around tracks.

"There are a lot of stories where the person in the incident isn't here today and isn't talking. I'm lucky - we don't want to rely on luck."

In the 12 months to June, there have been more than 30 collisions at level crossings involving vehicles or pedestrians, and almost 300 near misses.

Just this month, two people inside a car were killed near Palmerston North.

Safety experts say it's more important than ever to heed the warnings.

Kiwirail's Zero Harm general manager Katie McMahon says, "In urban areas like Auckland and Wellington, we've got electric trains which are very quiet. We've got growing populations, so you're seeing more trains."

While daredevil behaviour has decreased, complacency is still an issue.

"We've seen an increase in people using devices, listening to music on their phones," Ms McMahon said.

However, she says it's not just the victim that suffers.

"It impacts our drivers and our drivers' family and colleagues. In those situations, there's not a lot a driver can do."

Mr Hanara's experience hasn't put him off trains, but he hopes no more families will go through what his did.

"Look both ways. Be aware of trains. Take your headphones out. It's always a different day. Anything could happen. It could happen to you," Mr Hanara said.

More than 30 years ago Dan Hanara escaped with an injured leg after being run over by a train. Source: 1 NEWS