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    SNCB imposes blanket GSM device ban for drivers

    The SNCB management has sounded the alarm, in an internal memo, on the significant number of trains jumping red signals. Drivers are, all too often, distracted which has forced the directors of the railway company to reinforce the rules for using smartphones, tablets or laptops. This is reported in the Mediahuis group newspapers today (Tuesday).

    Last year (2015), 92 trains jumped red signals, or, when looked at another way, this amounts to 26 more violations than in 2014.

    The management of the 3,800 train drivers warned, “We are seeing a heavy increase. Being distracted is, far and away, the most significant cause of jumping signals. Multimedia technologies are most probably the reason for this.”

    It went further saying, “Consequently we feel railroaded by circumstances into reinforcing our rules.”

    From now on, there is a blanket ban on the use of GSM devices, smartphones, tablets, laptops, MP3 players and games consoles.

    Peripheral devices should be entirely switched off and out of sight of the train driver.

    Christopher Vincent
    The Brussels Times