Yesterday, November 20, a tragic accident occurred in Dobele – a 17-year-old boy died after colliding with a train at a pedestrian crossing. Although the driver of the freight train braked hard and rang the pedestrian, unfortunately the guy did not notice the approaching train and did not hear the warning signals. This was announced by the chief specialist of the Zemgale regional department of the state police Dace Kalnina.
According to initial information, on Sunday, November 20, around 12:55 p.m. in Dobele, a freight train, despite the sound signal and sudden braking, hit a person born in 2005, who was crossing the tracks at a pedestrian crossing. The young man crossed the tracks without checking first if the train was approaching, pulling his hood over his head and, according to the first information, listening to music on headphones.
The state police remind that before crossing the railway tracks, it is necessary to look right and left to make sure that there is no approaching train, and only then cross. It is pointed out that when listening to music with headphones, as was the case during this tragic incident, the approach of the train is not audible.
Latvijas dzelzceļš reminds that the railway track is an area of increased danger, and before crossing the tracks you should always make sure that no train is approaching. It should also be remembered that it is impossible to immediately stop a train weighing almost 2,000 tons – its braking distance can reach 1 km, and it is impossible to prevent a collision, since the train has no margin of maneuver.
The use of headphones and smart devices near the railway track is particularly dangerous, as it distracts from what is happening around and can have tragic consequences.
Darkness, precipitation and changing weather conditions are also additional risk factors for accidents on and near railway tracks. For example, a thick layer of snow drowns out the sound of an approaching train, and the train can be heard at a much closer distance than on a clear summer day.
This year, 14 people have already died on the railway in Latvia, and four more people have been injured. Most of these accidents still occur due to inattention or carelessness of the victims.
Latvijas dzelzceļš regularly carries out public awareness campaigns and organizes safety courses in educational institutions, where she encourages residents to be especially careful and careful around the railway line. This year, LDz specialists have already visited about 200 classes of schools and preschool institutions all over Latvia, where they have informed more than 4,000 children and young people about railway safety rules.
In order to avoid the repetition of such tragic incidents as much as possible, in the near future LDz will visit educational institutions in Dobele with safety lessons.