ProRail starts safe level crossing campaign for truck drivers


Rail operator ProRail is starting a campaign urging the drivers of tractors and trucks to take better care on railway crossings because of an increase in collisions with trains.

Although the overall number of accidents on crossings is falling, a quarter of all collisions over the last five years involved trucks, mini buses and tractors. Last year that figure shot up to 42% when 11 in 26 accidents were caused by truck drivers.

In total, six people lost their lives in 75 accidents involving professional drivers over the last 10 years, ProRail said.

Apart from the material damage, accidents cause massive delays to trains services.

The campaign consists of a number of instruction videos for drivers, who are advised not to take longer than 12 seconds to cross.

The campaign is part of the rail operator’s drive to reduce the number of accidents on railway crossings. Of the rail network’s 180 unguarded level crossings, which pose an even greater risk, 112 have been closed, or made safer since 2018.

One of the reasons truck drivers are having trouble navigating railway crossings is that their vehicles are very long and that they underestimate the time it takes to cross, ProRail incident analyst Emiel Jansen told the AD.

Tractors are also a risk factor, Jansen said, and often cause damage to barriers. “It is often not the crossings themselves that are unsafe but people’s impatient behaviour,” he said.

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