Level crossings, whether manned or not, can prove to be deadly places for road users. The Indian Railways (IR) have found that majority (nearly 89 per cent) of accidents at level crossings take place between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. and not at night as widely perceived.
“This is primarily because people are in a hurry during day time to reach their destinations and thus end up paying least attention to the risk involved,” says Vijayawada Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) Pradeep Kumar.
Addressing a seminar on safety at railway level crossings on the occasion of International Level Crossing Awareness Day at the Railway Institute here on Wednesday, Mr. Pradeep Kumar said: “Over-confidence of road-users is the main reason behind scores of deaths and permanent disability caused by accidents at level crossings.”
The Indian Railways are doing its best to prevent accidents at level crossings by taking the requisite enforcement and engineering measures, but no effort will help unless people are extra cautious while crossing the tracks, he added.
Of the total number of level crossings in the country, 40 per cent are unmanned, and it is 30 per cent in South Central Railway and 20 per cent in the Vijayawada Division.
Out of the 481 level crossings in the division, only 92 are unmanned, and most of them are being eliminated. Safety counsellors are being deployed at accident-prone level crossings to educate road users.
Additional DRM N.S.R. Prasad said if accidents took place at manned level crossings, the railways would be directly responsible. “Some technological interventions are being planned by the Safety Department, but they will come to naught if people are negligent,” Mr. Prasad added.