Cameras to be placed at major crossings

Decision made after school bus stalls on train tracks.

train crash air 298.88 (photo credit: Channel 2)
train crash air 298.88
(photo credit: Channel 2)
Six surveillance cameras will be posted at major train crossings in the coming weeks, with the purpose of documenting traffic violators, Army Radio reported Monday. The cameras will be stationed at the Ad Halom Junction in Ashdon, the Kerach Junction in Ramle and the Kfar Shmariyahu Junction. Drivers caught crossing the train tracks during a red light will be fined up to NIS 1,000 and will tally up to 10 points to their driving record. Earlier Monday, Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz ordered that cars be prohibited from crossing the railroad tracks in Binyamina following an accident that was averted Sunday evening when a school bus became stuck on the tracks. For a Jerusalem Online video of events click here. Beginning Monday, traffic was to be redirected through a nearby tunnel. The bus, while stalled on the tracks, opened the doors to allow the children to exit. The driver then managed to start the engine as the kids re-boarded the bus. Just like last week's train accident near Netanya, the inspector who is stationed at the crossing had taken a break while the near-accident had occurred. The Binyamina crossing is known as a trouble spot. Last December, a driver and his passengers narrowly escaped death after the vehicle in which they were traveling stalled on the train tracks near the station. The mini-bus, carrying eight people, was traveling from Or Yehuda to Pardes Hanna when the engine failed, leaving it stranded on the tracks. After failing to move the vehicle, the driver had ordered everyone to flee just as the warning barriers came down, signaling the arrival of the oncoming train. The mini-bus was hit head-on, but miraculously, the only casualty was a lightly injured passenger from the Tel Aviv-bound train, though the vehicle itself was completely demolished. In response to the incident Israel Railways director- general, Ofer Linczewski, issued, back in December, a statement in which he stressed that a budget of NIS 10 million to finance the construction of a bridge or tunnel at the Binyamina crossroads had been available for six years. The problem, he said, was that the local planning board had still not given its official approval to the project.