Stringent checks at level crossings: those caught jay-walking risk hefty fines or even prison

Despite awareness campaigns in the media jay-walking on railway tracks remains an issue. The problem is especially acute near to railway stations where jay-ways slip though closed gates at level-crossings in their haste to try and catch a train. The rail infrastructure management company Infrabel has now asked the railway security service Securail and the police to carry out stringent checks on jay-walking. 

From now until Sunday 6 October police offices and security guards from Securail will carry out stringent checks at points on the rail network where jay-walking is known to be an issue. Accident statistics show that people often ignore signals and gates at level crossings near to railway stations. These are people that know the area well and take great risks when venturing onto the track.

Infrabel’s spokesman Thomas Baeken told VRT News that "We have already carried out many public awareness campaigns. However, we now believe that it is time to take action”.  

The dangers of jay-walking on railway tracks have the subject of numerous sometimes hard-hitting awareness campaigns and even formed a storyline in the VRT’s popular soap opera ‘Thuis’. However, some people continue to not only break the law, but also put their lives in danger by jay-walking on railway tracks.

So far this year there have been 33 accidents in which 6 people died and a further 4 were seriously injured on or near to railway tracks.

An Infrabel survey found that a third of those questioned are aware of the risks of jay-walking on railway track, but still continue to do so if they feel that it is necessary.  

“This is disturbing and at the same time proof that we will only be able to get people to change their ways if we hit them in their wallets”, Mr Baeken added. "

Fines for those caught jay-waying on railway tracks range from 80 euro to several hundred euro. Repeat offenders risk up to 5 years in prison.

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