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Garda probe launched after van smashes through level crossing barrier in Co Roscommon

A vehicle drove through a closed arm of a level crossing barrier this morning.

Image: Irish Rail

Updated Aug 25th 2020, 8:03 PM

GARDAÍ ARE INVESTIGATING an incident this morning in which a vehicle broke through a level crossing barrier.

A motorist struck the barrier at Knockcroghery level crossing in Roscommon this morning, causing delays to services along the Westport line.

A spokesperson for An Garda Síochána told TheJournal.ie that gardaí are investigating an “incident of criminal damage” that occurred in Knockcroghery, Roscommon on 25 August at 9.20am where a vehicle “drove through a level crossing barrier”.

No arrests have been made in relation to the incident.

Irish Rail have released footage of the incident, in which the vehicle is seen to drive over the tracks.

The barrier arm on the vehicle’s side of the road had closed moments before the vehicle approached the level crossing.

The vehicle is seen to drive through the closed barrier.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, a spokesperson for Irish Rail said that ”one of the barrier arms was completely broken off, so that had to be replaced”.

The 07.15 service between Westport and Heuston was delayed, with further delays continuing into the afternoon.

Irish Rail confirmed to TheJournal.ie that services on the line were now operating as normal. 

Irish Rail asked the public to “please remember to act safely at level crossings” and “always obey crossing warning signs”.

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In 2019, there was 155 incidents recorded at level crossings, most of which related to barriers being struck by vehicles who continued to drive through the level crossing

According to figures released in June, there was a significant reduction in the number of incidents recorded in the start of 2020, with 32 incidents at level crossings by that point.

Irish Rail said that the decrease was welcome but that reduced traffic volume due to Covid-19 restrictions was a major factor in the lower numbers.

Across the network, there are 948 level crossings, with a combination of automated CCTV crossings, manned crossings, and unmanned, user-operated crossings.

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