Keep your ears on the rail!

Kabelo Dipholo

BR CEO cautions drivers with loud car stereos

The increasing number of railroad accidents near level crossings has prompted Botswana Railways Chief Executive Officer, Leonard Makwinja to appeal to motorists to keep not just their eyes but also their ears on the rail.

The BR CEO was speaking at the Southern Africa Railways Associations (SARA) Safety Week Commemoration, held at Bokowe level crossing in Francistown on Tuesday.

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The BR boss said he was worried about the loss of life and damage to property as a result of easily avoidable accidents.

“Today, cars have advanced sound systems and air conditioners which I believe cause distractions, hindering drivers from hearing the warning horns of oncoming trains,” he said.

The CEO noted this was especially worrying considering the anticipated increase of traffic on the rail after the opening of the Kazungula Bridge.

“Francistown is a gateway to the northern part of the country and we are anticipating the heavy flow of traffic,” stated Makwinja, further urging motorists to be cautious at all times.

The CEO also suggested that to reduce the number of fatal railroad accidents, government should focus on constructing safer rail lines.

He proposed that instead of overlapping rail and road crossings, flyovers would be more suitable as it separates rail lines from roads and would ultimately save more lives.

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“Government should consider the introduction of grade separation highway for rail and road in order to reduce the number of accidents,” said Makwinja.

The SARA Safety Week Commemorations were attended by among others BR Board Chairman, Adolph Hirschfeld, Board Member, Oreeditse Molebatsi, and Station Manager, Freedom Mokgethi.

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