Dramatic video captures moment teen cyclist rides over level …
Dramatic video footage has emerged of the moment a teenage cyclist in Belgium rode across a level crossing when the barriers were down and was hit by a train – with the youngster luckily sustaining nothing more than a minor head injury.
The incident happened on the morning of Tuesday 7 November at a level crossing in Warvik, West Flanders, according to the Gazet van Antwerpen, whose report includes video footage of the 15-year-old boy’s close escape provided by state-owned rail infrastructure provider Infrabel.
The train hit the rear wheel of the youngster’s bike, and he was thrown to the ground, thankfully away from the railway track, and treated in hospital for a minor head wound; had he crossed a split second earlier, or not deviated slightly from his original line, the consequences would almost certainly have been fatal.
Mayor of Vervik Youro Casier told the newspaper. “I was informed of the circumstances. The cyclist ignored all signals: the bell, the red lights and the closed barriers. He's put himself in a very dangerous situation.
“The fact that he is only slightly injured is a blessing in disguise. I hope he recovers quickly and that this can be an important lesson for everyone. We should try to avoid such accidents as much as possible.
“Age plays no role in this,” the mayor added. “Every road user has their own responsibility. If you take such a risk, you are putting your life at risk. It still happens too often that closed level crossings are ignored.”
Antony Verschaeve, who owns a café near the crossing, said that people ignoring warnings at the level crossing was a common occurrence.
“That boy crossing the road on Tuesday morning is certainly not an isolated case,” he explained. “That happens here many times a day, cyclists and pedestrians. You would be amazed at the numbers.”
As we have regularly reported here on road.cc, in Great Britain, both Network Rail and British Transport Police often share footage of people, including cyclists, ignoring flashing lights and barriers at level crossings, using such clips to highlight the danger to which they are exposing themselves and reinforcing the need to wait until the train has passed.