During the first half-year of 2013 took place 7 railway accidents. There were 3 collisions involving road vehicles and trains and nobody was injured in these accidents. There were 4 persons hit by railway rolling vehicles, 3 of which ended with injuries and one with fatal consequences.
Compared to the same period previous year, the total number of accidents has reduced considerably, foremost due to the reduction in the number of persons hit. The number of vehicle collisions has remained at the same level.
All three vehicle collisions happened at level crossings equipped with traffic lights. This indicates clearly that these accidents were caused by the negligence of drivers.
In recent years, the main reason for pedestrian accidents has been the inappropriate behaviour of people: they cross railways in unauthorised places. The situation remained the same also in the first half of 2013 when pedestrians were hit in places where they were trespassing. In order to improve the situation, in recent periods the efforts have been focused on restricting the areas where people usually trespass and on checking the existing walkways. In addition, extensive efforts are made for making the new passenger trains visible and audible, as the road users are not yet used to the new rolling stock. The experience so far has shown that the new trains make much less noise and thus they may be harder to notice. Therefore, the Estonian Technical Surveillance Authority finds that it is justified to use in the new trains warning sounds that are somewhat louder than they used to be. The warning signals are meant for making railways and their surrounding areas safe in order to prevent possible accidents.
As most of the railway accidents are still caused by the negligence of road users, the Technical Surveillance Authority and NPO Operation Lifesaver Estonia continue their joint safety campaign “Notice the train!” that was created to make road users aware of the changes brought about by the arrival of the new trains and to call on everybody to follow traffic regulations and safety rules while crossing railways, entering and stepping out of trains, as well as while moving around in railway area.
Technical Surveillance Authority
Tel. 667 2031