Iarnród Éireann News

International Level Crossing Day - Be Vigilant

07 June 2018

Incidents of Level Crossings being struck or damaged up 50% so far this year Appeal to Road Users to be Vigilant as Part of International Level Crossing Day

International Level Crossing Day - Be Vigilant

Iarnród Éireann is urging users of all level crossings – including automated and user-operated – to avoid distraction and always behave safely when passing through level crossings, as figures show incidents of misuse reported have increased by 50% so far this year.

Today is International Level Crossing Safety Awareness Day, a global initiative by Unions International de Chemins de Fer (UIC) – the representative body of the worldwide rail industry - to highlight to members of the public the need to be vigilant when using level crossings to cross the railway.

So far in 2018, there have been 27 incidents involving users striking or damaging barriers, an increase of 50% on the same period last year.  However, there has been a reduction from 7 to 4 of the number of near-miss incidents at user-operated crossings. However the company stresses how serious these near misses could have been and are appealing to all road users to be vigilant to avoid serious injury or death.

Iarnród Éireann stated:

  • Each of Merrion Gates, Serpentine, Sydney Parade and Sutton Station level crossings have all been struck by road vehicles three times already this year
  • Misuse of crossings by cyclists and pedestrian is becoming a concerning issue, with eight incidents recorded so far this year
  • While the reduction in near misses at user-operated crossings is welcome, this remains the highest risk area for misuse by users, with the greatest potential for injuries or fatalities should user fail to operate the crossings correctly.

Level crossing accidents account for 1.2% of road deaths in Europe but 29% of all rail fatalities.  Although Ireland’s record is far stronger than the European average, vigilance is essential and Iarnród Éireann are bringing the message of International Level Crossing Awareness Day to Irish crossing users. The theme for this year is ‘the negative effects of distraction.’

Jim Meade, Chief Executive of Iarnród Éireann said:

“As you can see from the short video clips that we have released today, a small minority of road users act in an appallingly unsafe manner at level crossings. I am appealing to all road users to act safely when using level crossings to prevent serious injury or death to themselves or to those travelling by train through level crossings.”

Moyagh Murdock, Chief Executive of the Road Safety Authority said:

“It really is hard to believe that people will take silly chances with trains but I’m afraid that’s exactly what’s happening in some parts of the country, especially at unattended level crossings. It is vital that we treat level crossings with extreme caution, especially unattended crossings. Trains are high‐powered, high speed vehicles and in the event of a collision, the consequences for a car, motorcycle, bicycle or pedestrian could be catastrophic. The rule of thumb is to always expect a train and obey the signs and signals at level crossings.”