RAILWAY OFFICIALS are keeping an eye on the lawbreakers at unmanned level crossings. And if found guilty, the violators may face imprisonment of one year and a fine for carelessness.
As per section 161 of the Indian Railway Act, those using the road at unmanned level crossings should look for approaching trains and then only cross over. “We are on the lookout for offenders,” said senior divisional safety officer (NER) Aloke Singh. He added that a team of railway personnel accompanied by the RTO staff and the civil police are watching unmanned level crossings in the division.
“According to the Act, drivers need to stop their vehicles at least five metres from the crossing and get down to check for trains,” said a senior DSO.
In case of violation, the guilty is liable to a fine of Rs 100 and even sent to jail for negligence. So far, the check team has slapped challans in 80 cases during a drive at 41 unmanned level crossings in 11 districts of the division.
There are 559 unmanned level crossings across Lucknow division of North Eastern Railway (NER), while the total number of level crossings (manned and unmanned) is 870. Moreover, one finds a level crossing after every 3.5 kilometres. Though rate of accidents at the unmanned level crossings is 22 per cent, the casualty rate is as high as 34 per cent, similar to that of derailments.
In the Lucknow division of NER last year, there were three major accidents at unmanned crossings where those travelling on the road died.
“We aim not only to issue challans but also to sensitise road users and the villagers,” said Singh. He added that counselling was imparted during the checks.