The French Network Rail Company, SNCF, has called for the police to take action following a near miss at the Paris-Roubaix bike race.
Numerous riders opted to cycle across a level crossing despite the barriers going down and the warning lights at a crossing. A policeman on a motorbike prevented any further cyclists crossing as a high-speed train passed seconds later.
The rail network SNCF has since called for police to take criminal action against those who neglected to obey the barriers and the crossing warning system after the race was broadcast to millions across the world. The rail company urged the police to take action for what they saw as a clear breach of safety rules.
Despite criticism from the world’s media and numerous high profile cyclists, the race organisers have stated that no action shall be taken because the peloton were going too fast to be stopped when the warning signs announced the imminent arrival of a train. The race had been running ten minutes ahead of schedule. Sir Bradley Wiggins and other high profile cyclists chose to ignore the warning system but are unlikely to face any punishment.
Last year the race had a similar incident with eight riders opting to ignore the safety warnings at a level crossing.
Numerous incidents in the UK occur at level crossings with vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians involved in accidents each year. Last year there were over 330 incidents involving cars, pedestrians or other road users in “near-misses”, with 95 involving vehicles at the intersection and 241 involving pedestrians. Collisions with trains were less common however much more dangerous, with just under 50% of all collisions proving fatal. Out of the 15 collisions in the UK in the last year seven proved to be fatal. According to the Level Crossing Risk Indicator Model (LCRIM) the number of incidents fell to it’s lowest level ever, with a 10% decrease in overall incidents at level crossings.
Despite early warning systems in place many people chose to evade these warnings and run the risk of crossing at the intersection in order to carry on their journey. Such action is the most common reason for accidents however, some are a result of the early-warning system failing to come into effect, warnings being too late for drivers or road users to stop in time, or barriers not coming down at all.
If you are involved in an accident, regardless of whether it is at a level crossing or not, if it not your fault, you will be able to take legal action. If the early warning system fails to operate properly, or if you are forced into crossing by another driver you could be able to take legal action.
If you are unfortunate to be involved in an accident that is not your fault, you will be able to take legal action even if you were merely a passenger. Road traffic accidents or being struck by a vehicle can cause serious, long-term injuries. Over 1,700 were killed last year following serious road traffic accidents, with over 20,000 suffering serious injuries as a result of a crash or incident involving a vehicle. If you are seriously injured, unable to work, or are suffering extreme pain and unable to live your normal life, you have every right to hold those responsible to account, and make a claim for compensation.
Like any injury, it is important to have as much evidence as possible to support your claim. Many incidents are not reported to police or medical professionals. If you are involved in a car accident, we strongly urge you to seek medical advice and file a report regarding the accident. Not only will this give you peace of mind knowing that you have done the right thing, but your injuries will be examined and fully assessed. When making a claim, this could also prove to be beneficial as a medical report will give proof that your claim is not fraudulent.
In order to build the strongest case for our clients, our team of personal injury solicitors require as much information as possible in order to obtain the maximum amount of compensation. If you are involved in a road traffic accident it is important to note down as many details as possible, such as the registration number of the other driver, details of the vehicle, a contact number for the other parties involved in the incident, insurance details and how the accident occurred. If it was a result of poor road surfaces or a traffic light being out of commission, photographic evidence is also preferable. If there are any witnesses to your claim, it is vital that our solicitors have their contact details or statements so that they can cross reference their statement with your account of how the incident occurred.
It is very difficult prior to investigating the circumstances what your claim could be worth, however, the injuries sustained in a car accident can be exceptionally serious. Our team of solicitors will be able to inform you what your claim could be worth upon your enquiry. Our solicitors will be able to give a more accurate number following an investigation.
If you require advice or representation regarding a road traffic accident or any serious injuries as a result of an accident, our team of personal injury lawyers can help. Our solicitors are skilled in dealing with personal injury claims and will be able to give you a step-by-step guide on what you can expect when making a personal injury claim. Contact us today using our online contact form.