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New traffic sign warns drivers not to block train tracks

This is what the niew traffic sign will look like. Credit: Belga

Throughout Belgium, 20 level crossings will get an extra traffic sign, warning drivers to not block the rails.

The sign has to make it clear that drivers should not drive on the tracks if they are not sure that they can keep driving. Such a sign is necessary, according to railway company Infrabel, as one in three accidents at level crossings occur due to traffic jams on the tracks.

164 incidents wherein a driver panics and drives through the boom barrier, often breaking it, when a train approaches while they are still on the tracks happened on these nine crossings alone, reports Het Nieuwsblad.

The new traffic signs show a row of cars with their brake lights on, on the other side of the railway, and a red cross on the railway.

“If the bell rings while they are stuck in traffic, it can cause panic,” said Frédéric Petit, spokesperson for Infrabel spokesman, reports Het Nieuwsblad. “Knowing that the train is approaching, drives often want to leave in a hurry, causing the engine to stop in their rush. That’s the kind of accident we want to prevent,” he added.

In Flanders, the new sign will be placed at level crossings in Ghent, Izegem, Kuringen, Rotselaar, Groot-Bijgaarden, Lier, Nijlen, Herentals and Niel.

In Wallonia, they will be placed in Morlanwelz, Montigny-le-Tilleul, Dampremy, Bierges, Basse-Wavre, Limal/Wavre, Couvin, two in Comines, Péruwelz and Gembloux, reports Het Laatste Nieuws.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times

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