Israel Railways has started to build two grade-separated crossings, one in Binyamina and the other between Caesarea and Pardess Hanna, to increase safety and reduce the risk of road-rail crashes. The project is to cost about NIS 1.3 billion.
A total of 100 grade-separated crossings, with roads crossing either over or under the railway tracks, are planned to be built by 2009.
Meanwhile, IR is carrying out a long list of other safety improvements, including blocking off unofficial railway crossings, making physical improvements to crossings, employing inspectors and running a radio campaign emphasizing the need for safety at level crossings.
Several serious railway accidents in the past year and a half, in which 13 train passengers were killed and many injured, were caused by road vehicles stalling on the railway tracks.
Since the beginning of this year 30 road-rail crossings out of a total of 149 throughout the country have been closed. In addition, in the past two weeks radar detection systems have been installed at Atlit and Hadera. A similar system has been operating at Beit Yehoshua since the fatal accident there in June.
A bridge and supporting walls at Binyamina, where frequent fast trains pass through the town center, are expected to be completed within 10 months. The work at the Caesarea-Pardess Hanna industrial zone, where Road No. 651 crosses the railway, should be completed in 20 months.
Eleven further crossings used by farm vehicles throughout the country have been closed in the last few months.
The Traffic Department of the Israel Police is continuing its program of enforcement, issuing an average of 100 tickets weekly. At the beginning of August the police installed cameras at level crossings in Ashdod, Ramle and south of Zichron Ya'acov, and since then they have issued 820 tickets to drivers who crossed the tracks when warning lights were flashing.