Irish Rail releases footage of vehicles crashing into level crossing barriers
There have been 31 incidents at level crossings this year so far.
Irish Rail has released footage of vehicles crashing through level crossing barriers as 60 incidents at level crossings were reported in 2020.
According to the rail service, most of these incidents were level crossing barriers being struck by vehicles that continued over the level crossing, even though the barriers were lowering and the warning lights were flashing.
So far this year, meanwhile, there have been 31 incidents at level crossings across the network.
Irish Rail has released the footage as part of International Level Crossing Awareness Day, an initiative to encourage members of the public to be vigilant when using level crossings to cross the railway.
While incident rates are said to be stable, this may be down to reduced traffic volume because of Covid-19 restrictions.
Now as restrictions begin to ease, Irish Rail is warning people that level crossing incidents can cause significant disruption to rail services and place both the road user and railway users at serious risk.
Chief Executive of Irish Rail Jim Meade said in a statement: “The number of incidents at level crossings is still too high. In recent months, we have had a number of very worrying incidents at level crossings and we would appeal to all road users to obey the rules of the roads at level crossings. They are for everyone’s safety.”
There are currently 948 level crossings on the Irish Rail network, with the company working to eliminate as many of them as practicable.
Almost 300 people die at level crossings across Europe every year.
In a statement, Irish Rail said: "Although Ireland’s record is far stronger than the European average, and there have been no level crossing fatalities since 2010, vigilance is essential."
The company has advised people approaching level crossings to do the following:
- At automatic crossings, stop safely when the warning lights begin to flash. Never go through crossings when barriers are about to lower, or lowering.
- At staff-operated crossings, respect gatekeepers, whose role is to ensure your safety and that of rail users. Stop immediately when the gatekeeper requests it.
- At user-operated crossings, always stop before crossing to check the line, check the line again after crossing, and always close the gate after use for your safety and that of others.
You can watch Irish Rail's footage showcasing incidents at level crossings below.
Today is International Level Crossing Awareness Day.
❗️Always use level crossings safely to protect yourself, other crossing users and rail users #AlwaysSafe @ilcad #ILCAD2021 pic.twitter.com/MOfo3Cxr5N
— Iarnród Éireann #StaySafe (@IrishRail) June 10, 2021