Lowest number of accidents at level crossings in Serbia

Only 41 accidents have occurred at level crossings in Serbia during 2019. It is the lowest number for the country since 2001. This figure is a result of intensive investments in rail infrastructure allocated in recent years. The local rail infrastructure manager Infrastruktura železnice Srbije will continue this policy in the future.

At the beginning of the 2000s, the level crossings in Serbia were dangerous and fatal places. In 2001 there was recorded 115 accidents, the highest number in the current century. Meanwhile, the highest number of fatalities at level crossings occurred in 2002 when 28 people died and the highest number of injuries was documented in 2005 with 56 injured people.

Currently, the situation looks quite different: there were only 41 accidents recorded in Serbia with 2 people killed and 17 people injured. Within the past two decades, safety at Serbian level crossings has increased almost three times if to compare the results of 2001 and 2019.

Investments

According to Infrastruktura železnice Srbije, the key to success is in intensive investments in the modernisation of the tracks, installation of new signalling, barriers, sound and light warning, especially in recent years. The Serbian rail infrastructure manager funds these works from their own and external sources including loans and donations. This year it plans to move further with this policy. To this end, the World Bank will allocate 13 million US dollars (12 million euros) to Serbia while the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will provide 8 million euros during the current year.

More safety

There are 2,138 level crossings in Serbia. By May 2018, more than 500 installations were protected as they had been equipped with necessary technical solutions such as boom barriers, light and sound warnings. 22 level crossings have become protected areas in 2018 and 2019. In addition, Infrastruktura železnice Srbije has started to install video surveillance at level crossings across the country. During the mentioned two years, 44 points were equipped with this technical solution. By the end of 2020, this number is expected to increase up to 100 level crossings.

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Author: Mykola Zasiadko

Mykola Zasiadko is editor of online trade magazines RailTech.com and RailFreight.com.

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