Bonneville english summary

On Thursday 2 November 2017 at 13:52, the TER (Regional Express Train) no. 852429, coming from Lisieux and heading for Trouville-Deauville, collided with a car on level crossing no. 8 in the town of Bonneville-sur-Touques. This level crossing is an unguarded type with a Saint-Andre cross “STOP” sign. During the impact, the TER, travelling at a speed of 135 km/h, derailed but did not
Three occupants were in the automobile, a couple and an 11-year-old child. All three were killed in the collision. No casualties were reported among the 95 people on the train.
The direct cause of the accident is that the driver of the road vehicle did not perceive the train’s arrival before crossing the level crossing.

The underlying cause is that the road vehicle driver entered a dead-end lane, possibly not knowing where he was. Then, just after crossing level crossing 8, the driver noticed the lack of road surface. He probably realised his confusion and started to reverse. He made a U-turn. He entered the level crossing again when the TER arrived on his right.

Associated factors can be considered :
- level crossing 8 safety diagnosis failed to identify risk factors related to the environment, including signalling access to a dead-end lane, and stopping of the road surface just after the level crossing ;
- access to the marshes should only be possible for those who are authorised ;
- when crossing the railway, the driver’s attention was not captured by a physical light and sound device. Such a device would have been triggered by switching on lights and ringing at least 20 seconds before arrival of the TER at the level crossing, and therefore well before the sound alert of the TER’s whistle, which only occurred eight seconds before the TER arrived.

Preventive actions should be researched for these areas.
However, it should be noted that the train traffic’s high speed on this line (140 km/h) causes significant constraints for both modes of travel, both road and rail.
The departments in this prefecture, the departmental council and municipality have launched a procedure to remove level crossing 8. Pending implementation of the procedures to remove this level crossing, road signs have been supplemented at the entrance to the Chemin de la Liberation from departmental road 677.

BEA-TT makes two recommendations, one related to the installation near the level crossing of a device preventing access to the level crossing to anyone who is not entitled to do so. The other is related in a general way to automating the level crossing at the Saint-Andre crossing on lines which are travelling at 140 km/h.
Regarding the evolution of level crossing safety inspections, this issue has already been addressed by a recommendation in the report on the Millas accident on 14 December 2017. BEA-TT is not making a new recommendation.

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