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Transport Ministry seeking ways to make rail crossings safer

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Prague, July 31 (CTK) – The Czech Transport Ministry wants to raise fines imposed on those crossing rail tracks while the red lights are on after a recent tragic accident at Studenka, north Moravia, and it will seek technical means of raising safety at level crossing, minister Dan Tok said Friday.
A working commission is to say where it would be suitable to build flyovers and which crossings could be abolished, Tok said.
Three people died and almost 20 were injured when a Polish lorry driver entered the level crossing at Studenka, situated on a railway corridor on July 22 when the red lights were on. He has been taken into custody and he faces three to ten years in prison for negligent endangering the safety of the public.
Tok said the highest fine now amounts to 2,500 crowns, which is very low and that the Czech Republic could seek inspiration in the neighbouring Slovakia where the fines are three-times higher.
In addition, sensors and camera systems that would be capable of reading vehicles’ registration plates could help raise the safety at level crossings.
The state-run railway track management company SZDC now uses around 3500 cameras. However, they are mainly placed in railway buildings to monitor people getting on trains at stations without personnel.
($1=24.691 crowns)

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