Footage shows dangerous incidents at level crossings as Irish Rail calls for vigilance

An incident at a level crossing in Claremont recently. Photo via Irish Rail.

Irish Rail has called for vigilance at level crossings after the number of incidents so far this year have increased by 82%.

In 2018, there were 81 incidents at railway level crossings, causing disruption to services as well as putting road users at risk.

The majority of incidents were level crossing barriers being struck by vehicles which kept driving even though the barriers were lowering and the warning lights were flashing.

So far in 2019, 51 such accidents have occurred, an 82% increase on the same period last year.

Irish Rail says these figures are "extremely worrying" and it has released video footage of serious incidents recorded recently.

In Dublin, Sutton Station barrier alone has been struck 10 times already this year. Other level crossings that have been regularly hit include Serpentine Avenue, Sydney Parade and Lansdowne Road.

There are currently 948 level crossings on the Iarnród Éireann network which are a combination of automated CCTV crossings, manned crossing and unmanned user operated accommodation crossings.

The company is working to eliminate as many level crossings as possible and closed 63 crossings between 2014 and 2018.

It is calling for vigilance as part of International Level Crossing Awareness Day, with figures showing that level crossing accidents account for 1.2% of road deaths in Europe and 29% of all rail fatalities.

Jim Meade, Chief Executive of Iarnród Éireann said: “The theme for this year for International Level Crossing Awareness Day could not be more relevant. With the alarming increase in incidents at level crossings.

"I am appealing to all road users, be they motorists, pedestrians or cyclists to stop at level crossings.

We are working to make user operated level crossings safer with new technology, but the majority of these incidents are occurring at automated level crossings in built up areas, where there is ample warning that the level crossing is coming into operation. Do not take chances at Level Crossings, it could end in tragedy.

The Commissioner for Rail Regulation, Brian Higgisson said: “The Commission for Railway Regulation, supports the call for greater vigilance at railway level crossings. It is concerned by the big rise in railway level crossing incidents this year. Drivers and pedestrians using level crossings have a duty to protect their own safety and the safety of railway users.”

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