National

Safety at level crossings remains a problem

Even as railways across the world observe International Level Crossing Awareness Day on Tuesday, the problem of poorly manned level crossings plagues a developed nation like the US as much as it does India. In 2009, as many as 248 fatalities were reported across the U.S. due to accidents at level crossings while the casualty figure in India was 321 in 67 incidents of accidents.

In the U.S., almost 90 percent of the 136,040 level crossings are still unmanned, whereas in India the figure is about 17,954 out of 35,363 , leaving about 50 percent of crossings unprotected.

Other developed countries too have not been able to successfully come up with a proper mechanism to avoid train-vehicle collisions, pedestrian- related accidents, and bring down the casualty figures. This indicates that even the richer nations are inhibited by the prospect of cost-benefit disparities. Germany reported 40 deaths in 203 level crossing accidents, while Australia 37 in 100 , France 36 deaths in 126 accidents, Canada 19 in 186, and Argentina 126 deaths in 278 accidents.

The Indian Railways have decided to secure at least 3,000 unmanned level crossings during the current financial year, and the remaining over the next five years. It has also decided to mechanise 383 manned crossings during the current financial year.

The Indian railways blames road users, pedestrians and foggy weather for such accidents, however claiming that the number of accidents have dropped over the past five years.

The Indian railways has decided to launch a week-long special drive to build safety awareness at and around level crossings.


Our code of editorial values

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Dec 5, 2021 7:22:51 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/Safety-at-level-crossings-remains-a-problem/article16261869.ece

Next Story