Metrolinx warns of perils of rail crossings, releases startling crash video

Metrolinx is advising drivers, cyclists and pedestrians to be extra careful around train tracks, as the provincial transit agency has released footage of a car driving into a level crossing just before it was slammed into by an oncoming train.

The incident happened back in May at the Carl Hall Road rail crossing at Downsview Park, according to a post Metrolinx published on its website Monday. The agency says a driver illegally crossed the barrier onto the rail, before their vehicle was almost immediately struck by a train. 

The driver did not suffer serious injuries, Metrolinx said. You can see the footage for yourself here:

The driver is now facing charges, Metrolinx said. Toronto police did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the specifics of those charges.

Metrolinx’s chief safety officer Martin Gallagher said most of these incidents are preventable.

“Collisions at level crossings are caused by pedestrians, cyclists and drivers who deliberately take risks or make bad decisions by mistake, out of habit or because they’re distracted,” he said.

“Everyone needs to be alert at level crossings and remember that trains move quickly and can appear at any time.”

Metrolinx says according to Operation Lifesaver — a rail safety initiative funded by the Railway Association of Canada and Transport Canada — around 100 Canadians are seriously injured or killed every year at level crossings.

“Safety at level crossings doesn’t just happen,” said Metrolinx’s chief engineer Fay Pittman. “It requires constant vigilance of each and every one of us to keep each other safe.”

Metrolinx is asking everyone to remember the following instructions when they approach a level crossing:

  • Always be prepared to stop at a level crossing.
  • Concentrate what you are doing — do not get distracted by other people, music or your phone.
  • Stop, look and listen. Pay attention to the warnings, whether they are lights, barriers or alarms.
  • Do not proceed until all the warnings stop.
  • Check both ways before proceeding.
  • Never go around a barrier when it is lowered.

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