Friday 23 February 2018

Shocking Irish Rail footage shows motorists crashing into level crossings

Sasha Brady

Footage released by Irish Rail shows motorists crashing into the barriers at level crossings in various locations around the country.

It captures a series of incidents in which vehicles crash into level crossing gates as they descend.

In some cases, the vehicles appear to be driving too fast to stop in time and at other times, the motorists are taking a chance to speed under the gates before they close down.

Barry Kenny, of Iarnród Éireann, said there has been a significant increase in the number of vehicles clipping level crossings this year, especially along the DART line.

The number of level-crossing crashes is currently at 51, up from 35 for the entire year in 2014 and five level crossings have been severely damaged this year.

"There is more than sufficient warning before the barrier starts to descend, there's plenty of opportunity for the driver to slow down," said Mr. Kenny.

It is vitally important to approach a level crossing with the utmost care, and to slow down and be prepared to stop
It is vitally important to approach a level crossing with the utmost care, and to slow down and be prepared to stop

"It's an act of recklessness and impatience."

Clipping can have potentially severe consequences and can cause major disruptions to rail services and road traffic, especially during peak time.

In an effort to deter clippings, Iarnród Éireann are installing licence plate recognition cameras that will allow them to get the details of the drivers who are ploughing through the level crossings.

"We will pass this information on to the Garda and they will deal with the motorists from there."

This move by Iarnród Éireann is similar to the recent introduction of automated red-light camera systems at one of the worst sites in Dublin for crashes between cars and Luas trams.

Drivers who break the red light at the location, and who are captured on camera, automatically receive three penalty points.

The new cameras are to be installed before the end of the year at the three crossings with the highest number of incidents: Merrion Gates, Sydney Parade and Sutton.

The footage from Iarnród Éireann comes after Luas operators released footage of near misses between Luas trams and pedestrians last year.

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