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Railway safety Spike seen in number of train drivers running red lights

Swiss Federal Railways employees lift one of the trains after the collision, in Granges-pres-Marnand in 2013

One person was killed and more than 20 injured when a conductor ignored a red light in Granges-pres-Marnand, in western Switzerland, in 2013.

(Keystone)

According to a Sunday report in SonntagsZeitung, train conductors have never ignored as many traffic lights as they did in 2017.

Based on unpublished statistics from the Swiss Transport Ministry, last year a record 325 cases were identified in which railway signals were disregarded, compared to 232 in 2010. In 2018, 87 cases have been reported already.

According to the statistics, most of the time, the signals are ignored in train stations or rail yards. Accidents caused by not respecting signals have resulted in 90 injuries since 2010, of which 15 were serious, and have cost CHF54 million ($54.3 million) in damages.

+ Train driver found guilty of negligence in 2013 crash

The problem has reached “worrying proportions”, the Swiss Association of Locomotive Drivers (VSLF) was quoted as saying. The association called for prolonging training for conductors to help address the issue.

A transport ministry spokesperson said that while the ministry recognised the above-average incidence of such manoeuvres, those concerning passenger transport remain constant despite “traffic increasing every year”.

SonntagsZeitung/SDA-ATS/cl

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