Level crossings: one accident every three days

A level crossing, as seen here in central Switzerland Keystone / Urs Flueeler

There is on average one accident every three days at level crossings, according to Federal Office of Transport statistics, which have been seen by the SonntagsZeitung.

This content was published on February 17, 2019 - 15:06

Since 2010, 1,539 incidents have been reported, the equivalent of 170 per year. Collisions have caused almost CHF37 million ($37 million) in damage, 67 people have died, and 347 people have been injured.

The more than 4,500 level crossings at railways in the country should have been checked and made safe by 2014. According to the Federal Office of Transport, the number of accident victims has fallen over the last years.

“Switzerland now does very well in international comparisons. But of course each accident is an accident too many,” said spokesman Andreas Windlinger in the article.

But at the end of 2017, 230 of the crossings still did not reach legal safety standards, the newspaper said.

The main cause of the accidents was not faulty infrastructure though, but human error. In more than 90% of cases accidents occurred due to cars or pedestrians breaking the rules.

In the last few weeks police have been calling for people to be more careful after level crossing collisions in Uster near Zurich and in the resort of Davos, in eastern Switzerland, the home of the World Economic Forum (WEF).

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