Prague, Dec 28 (CTK) – A total of 219 people died in railway accidents in the Czech Republic until the end of November this year, which is more than during the whole 2018 (212 such fatalities), according to the statistical data of the Czech Rail Inspection released on its website.
The numbers of direct collisions between pedestrians and trains and the death toll in level-crossing accidents have also increased.
During the same period last year (until November 30), 189 people died in railway accidents, while this year, the death toll rose by one-tenth.
In the past five years, the highest death toll in railway accidents was 243 in 2016.
This year was extremely tragic in the number of fatal level-crossing crashes.
During the whole 2018, there were 170 level-crossing accidents, in which 33 people died, while this year it was 175 crashes with 37 fatalities until the end of November.
The public Czech Radio reported today that the number of level-crossing accidents rose to 177 and the death toll to 38 until mid-December. This is why this year will be the most tragic as far as the death toll on level crossings is concerned since 2016 when 46 people died on level crossings.
On Thursday, a 20-year-old cyclist died in a collision with a fast train on a level crossing equipped with signal lights in the vicinity of Sumperk, north Moravia.
One of the most tragic railway accidents occurred in Cernozice village, east Bohemia, in the Hradec Kralove Region on July 14 when a four-member family, two adults and two children, died in a car that collided with a train on a level crossing with lights.
The number of people who died in collisions with trains rose this year, too, to 179 (228 such crashes), compared to 176 fatalities and 225 crashes last year. Such collisions are almost always fatal.
The Czech Railway Infrastructure Administration (SZDC) annually invests about one billion crowns in the safety improvement of all types of level crossings. Some 150 are modernised a year.
In the first half of 2020, the SZDC plans to install cameras on 14 level crossings, which it expects to lower the number of traffic offences there. The cameras will be primarily in the corridor between Pardubice, east Bohemia, and Ostrava, north Moravia, and along selected regional lines. In another phase, the SZDC intends to equip 16 level crossings with cameras.