Safety at Level Crossings

The Road Safety Authority (RSA), Iarnród Éireann and the Commission for Railway Regulation launched, a  public awareness campaign on 10 June 2016 aimed at making road users aware of the correct behaviour at railway crossings and in particular unattended level crossing and the dangers posed by their misuse.

Safety at unattended level crossings

The RSA, Iarnród Éireann and the Commission for Railway Regulation added to the campaign from 2013 today by creating a video to advise road users how to use an unattended level crossing safety. As part of the video road users are advised to always expect a train and to follow the Rail Cross Code, If you open the gate at a crossing you must close it. It's the law!

As part of the campaign a 30" radio advert will run for a week from 13 June and a social media campaign for the month of June. We have created two shorter versions for use on social media and all  videos are available to view here.

Road-users are advised to use the ‘Rail Cross Code’ when crossing an unattended level crossing:

1. Always expect a train. .

2. Stop, look both ways, and listen - unattended level crossings are guarded by iron gates and accompanied by stop signs. You should stop your vehicle well clear of the gates to allow enough room to open fully away from the tracks.

Switch off any mobile or music devices that might prevent you from hearing an approaching train and open the windows on the driver and passenger sides of your vehicle. If you are on foot or on a bicycle, remove your headphones, hood or other items of clothing that might impair your sight or hearing. Carefully read and follow the instructions provided at the level crossing. After opening the gates on both sides of the train tracks, drive forward and stop behind the white line.

Look both ways, looking for the lights of an approaching train and listening for a train horn.

3. Give way to trains. Let any approaching train pass, then look both ways again

4. When the railway is clear, cross quickly - Only when the tracks are clear in both directions should you cross. Drive across the train tracks and stop well clear of the crossing on the opposite side.

5. Shut and fasten both gates after you - even if there is traffic behind you, make certain the gates are properly shut before moving on. If you have opened the gate, you are responsible for ensuring that the gate is properly shut afterwards. Don’t assume someone else will do it. If the gates were open when you arrived and you have crossed the railway, make sure you close and secure the gates afterwards. Don’t just leave them open or assume someone else will close them.

Not only is this reckless, it is against the law!

Please see the information videos on our YouTube page here  

 

Safety at Level Crossings

The ‘Safety at Level Crossings’ campaign includes the publication of the an information booklet,  Safety at Level Crossings which is available to download from the websites of the Road Safety Authority, Iarnród Éireann and the Railway Safety Commission. In addition a 30 second radio ad aired on national and local radio from Monday 8th April. The ad urges motorists to take extra care at level crossings, in particular those that are unattended.

Background Statistics on Incidents at Level Crossings

1. Reported Collisions involving Train & Road User/ Road User and Gate / Train and Gate over the period 2002 to 2011

  • There have been 21 Train / User Collisions at a Level Crossing.
  • There have been 86 reported incidents of a barrier / obstruction on a level crossing (vehicle).
  • There have been 241 cases where a vehicle has been in collision with a level crossing.
  • There have been 20 incidents of a train striking a gate (as a result of them being left open by road users).

2. Between 2009 and the end of June 2012 there have been a number of ‘Near Miss’ incidents.

  • There were 96 Category 1 ‘Near misses’. These are incidents where the train driver made an Emergency brake application in response to a perceived hazard.
  • There were 38 Category 2 ‘Near misses’. These are incidents where the train driver made some other response (sounding of horn, shutting off power and/or a service brake application).
  • There were 46 Category 3 ‘Near misses’. These are incidents where the train driver made no specific response to a perceived hazard but believed it to be reportable.

3. Between 2006 and 2011 there have been 3,234 cases of the Level Crossing Gate being reported open.

4. Three problem routes for reported incidents are the Dublin to Wexford and Western / North Western routes.

Radio Ads

Statistics

5. Road User Fatalities at Level Crossings 2004 to 2010

Year Fatalities
2004  1
2007 1
2008 1
2010 2