In 2016, there were 13,892 instances of drivers passing over railroad tracks as rail gates began descending and red lights started flashing – an illegal act in Israel. To make matters worse, 63 drivers broke rail gate as they barreled through, attempting to save a few minutes by getting to the other side of the tracks before the train passed.
Police have had enough, and in order to put a halt to the phenomenon, they will be installing cameras at all road crossings that bisect railroad tracks. According to police, there have been instances in which drivers drove through railroad tracks at speeds of as much as 140 kilometers per hour, in an effort to “beat” the rail gate.
The cameras, police hope, will discourage at least some drivers from trying to “beat the gate.” There have been numerous incidents in which drivers who did not heed the rail gate closure were badly hurt or killed when an oncoming train struck their vehicle, police said. The penalty for failing to stop as a rail gate begins descending is NIS 1,500 plus ten points. In some cases police can suspend a driver’s license for up to six months.