Getting stuck at a level crossing does not have to lead to an accident; you just have to follow basic rules.
Chrást u Plzně, 18/06/2011 – today´s collision between the bus and the express train in Chrást u Plzně could highly unlikely be prevented. However, drivers often do not know how to react in similar situations.
A bus driver with passengers got stuck at a level crossing. Despite the fact that he got on the level crossing when the warning lights were still off and the gates were not down yet, the train was already approaching and the level crossing activated the warning shortly after the driver got stuck. The bus driver succeeded in bringing himself and the passengers out of danger, but he failed to stop the train in time.
How to react in such a situation? First of all, it is necessary to keep calm and to act immediately. The Railway Infrastructure Administration has equipped all level crossings with numbers which are placed on the back of the level crossing road signal box (lights box) or on the back of the warning cross. When dialling the emergency line 112 and reporting the number of the level crossing, the operator is capable of stopping the operation on the relevant line within several minutes. .
If the situation allows it, the driver should break the gate with his car and leave the level crossing before the collision with a train. In some cases, it is possible to use the assistance of the others present nearby and to lift up the gates. They are not locked in their lower position and so can be raised very easily.
The Railway Infrastructure Administration assumes that professional drivers should be properly trained and informed about correct procedures related to emergency situations at a level crossing. It would often prevent the damage of the railway equipment and trains but it would also reduce the chance of endangering passengers and other road users.
The system of the level crossing numbering has helped to prevent nearly 300 accidents at level crossings during its three-year existence. At the time of its launch, SŽDC´s system of the level crossing numbering was the only one in Europe and because of the excellent experience with its application several other European countries intend to integrate this safety feature into their railway system.
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