Iarnród Éireann: 89 Incidents at Level Crossings in 2015
2 December 2016
Figures from Iarnród Éireann have revealed that there were 89 incidents at level crossings around the country in 2015 which resulted in a vehicle, person or property being struck by a train or barrier.
Of the 89 incidents, 61 involved vehicles and five involved pedestrians. 20 incidents were classified as Category 1, the most serious type, meaning the driver of the train had to apply the emergency break in order to avoid a more serious outcome.
Of particular concern are the incidents of unsafe behavior at unattended level crossings which are more likely to end in serious injury or fatality. There are 149 unattended level crossings on roads around the country, usually found on minor or private roads where there are relatively low levels of traffic. To support the level crossings campaign, an online information video has been produced to advise road-users how to use this type of crossing safely. The video provides step-by-step advice on how to approach and cross an unattended level crossing. Road-users are reminded that they are solely responsible for opening the gates before crossing the tracks and ensuring the gates are securely shut again once they have crossed to the other side. Failure to shut the gates could have serious consequences for another road-user.
Don Cunningham, Director, Iarnród Éireann Infrastructure said:
“In one year alone, there were almost 90 ‘near misses’ at level crossings around the country. These incidents could have had very serious consequences for the person involved, the train and its passengers, and other road-users. People simply should not take risks at level crossings. Unattended level crossings also pose a serious risk so it is important that road-users take responsibility for opening and closing the gates properly when passing through. If the gates are left open, another road-user might think that it is safe to cross without due care and the consequences could be very serious.”
The Road Safety Authority, Iarnród Éireann and the Commission for Railway Regulation recently signed a joint Statement of Intent to facilitate the sharing of information, experience and ideas in relation to safety at public road level crossings. This addresses an action in the Government Road Safety Strategy 2013-2020 to educate road-users on the correct use of railway level crossings through collaboration on a range of education and awareness initiatives.