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Dublin: 8 °C Monday 9 December, 2019

Woman pushing pram was hit by level crossing barrier last year

It was one of nearly 90 incidents in which a vehicle, person or property was struck by a train or barrier.

Source: RSA Ireland/YouTube

A WOMAN PUSHING a pram was hit by a level crossing barrier in one of 89 “near misses” at railway crossings last year.

In another incident, a drunk pedestrian was discovered on the railway tracks after ignoring warning signs that a train was approaching.

The figures released by Iarnród Éireann today show there were 89 incidents at level crossings around the country in 2015, which resulted in a vehicle, person or property being struck by a train or a barrier.

Photos released by Iarnród Éireann showed one incident where a car was hit by a train and another involving a truck and a tractor.

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Of the 89 incidents, 61 involved vehicles and five involved pedestrians.

The woman pushing a pram who was hit by a level crossing barrier in Dublin “narrowly avoided a more serious injury”, Iarnród Éireann said in a statement.

Twenty of the incidents were classed as Category 1 – the most serious type – in which the train driver had to apply the emergency brake to avoid a more serious outcome.

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Don Cunningham, director of Iarnród Éireann Infrastructure, urged people not to take risks at level crossings. There are 149 unattended level crossings around the country which are of particular concern, he said.

“In one year alone, there were almost 90 near misses at level crossings around the country,” he said. “These incidents could have had very serious consequences for the person involved, the train and its passengers, and other road users.”

To mark International Level Crossing Awareness Day today, Iarnród Éireann, the Road Safety Authority (RSA) and the Commission for Railway Regulation (CRR) have released a video to highlight the importance of safety at level crossings.

“A near miss is only a step away from a serious injury,” Gerald Beesley of the CRR said. “You should always expect a train.”

Road users should use the Rail Cross Code when approaching level crossings, he added.

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