Millau english summary

On 24 November 2004, at around 5:00 pm, an accident took place in Millau (Aveyron), at the intersection between the RN9 primary road and the rail line from Béziers to Neussargues, on level crossing no. 71.
A semi-articulated lorry became immobilised on the railway line as the Paris to Béziers train approached. Despite an emergency stop, the train could not avoid the collision. The accident caused minor injuries to three people.

The Minister for Transport, Infrastructure, Tourism and the Sea asked the Land Transport Accident Investigation Bureau to conduct an investigation into this accident.
The aim of this report is to determine the circumstances and causes of the accident and to formulate preventive recommendations.

It would appear that the direct cause of this accident was an error by the lorry driver, who proceeded onto the level crossing without checking that there was enough space to clear it completely.

However, two other factors also played a crucial role :
- The location of the level crossing in a built-up area, where it was often in the middle of traffic jams.
- The road works being performed nearby, which those in charge had not taken into account as an additional cause of traffic congestion around the level crossing.

The report puts forward a number of recommendations for the management of road works located near level crossings, and for the design and signalling of level crossings that are subject to frequent road congestion, notably level crossing no. 71 in Millau.

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