Call for companies to ‘Go on board’

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Translink NI Railways asks Coleraine and Ballymoney haulage companies to ‘Get on board’ International Level Crossing Awareness Day 2016.

This month, Translink NI Railways will be marking the 8th International Level Crossing Awareness Day (ILCAD) through a series of information events for haulage companies and HGV drivers on the safe use of level crossings.

Keith Pollock, Level Crossing Safety Coordinator, Translink said: “Following a number of incidents at level crossings throughout the network involving heavy goods vehicles, Translink NI Railways decided that this year’s focus during ILCAD would be haulage companies, lorry drivers and other associated bodies.

“We are working with licenced vehicle operators to tell them about the increasing numbers of freight and haulage vehicles being involved in safety related incidents on or near the railway network and how they can educate their drivers on the safe use of level crossings.

“Some of the risky behaviours we have encountered in the past year include drivers attempting to beat the barriers as they descend or failing to stop in time, causing significant damage to barrier arms and crossing equipment.

“The effects of this can be far reaching; as well as the financial costs incurred (a replacement barrier arm for example costs several thousands) and the associated safety implications, it can also cause significant delays to train services, passengers and potentially other road users.

“This year, ILCAD activity will continue throughout June with mailings to some of the largest haulage companies in Northern Ireland and as in previous years we will be attending a number of agricultural shows, raising level crossing safety awareness amongst the rural community.

“We would like to take this opportunity to remind drivers that we now have CCTV cameras at the majority of our crossings and we will continue to prosecute offenders who take risks and put themselves, other road users, our employees and passengers at risk’.

“Some of the fines imposed in 2014-2015 were in excess of £500. Coupled with the potential of penalty points being applied to the driving licences of offenders, increased insurance policy premiums and potential coverage in local media, these should all serve as strong deterrents to potential offenders. We are working closely with colleagues in the PSNI to ensure that risk takers are identified.

“We are also working with freight organisations such as the Freight Transport Association and the Road Haulage Association to advise them how their members can avoid taking unnecessary risks on or near level crossings.”

For more information on Translink’s safety activity go to www.translink.co.uk/railsafety or for advice contact Crossings@Translink.co.uk