There has been a "surge" in incidents at level crossings, according to Iarnród Éireann, with 54 reported so far this year, compared to 31 for the same period last year.

It said some of the incidents have been "particularly worrying" with the majority occurring in Dublin.

To mark International Level Crossing Awareness Day, Iarnród Éireann has appealed to all road users, including pedestrians, to obey the rules at level crossings.

Iarnród Éireann Chief Executive Jim Meade said level crossings are there for everyone's safety, but there have been a number of very worrying collisions at crossings.

The company has released video footage of some of the incidents.

There are currently 909 level crossings on the Iarnród Éireann network.

These are a combination of automated CCTV crossings, manned crossing and unmanned user operated accommodation crossings, including on farmlands.

The company said it is working to eliminate as many of them as practicable and has closed 69 between 2014 and 2022.

Road Safety Authority CEO Sam Waide said the purpose of International Level Crossing Awareness Day is to raise awareness of the "real dangers posed due to carelessness at railway level crossings, especially when using unattended Railway Level Crossings."

He added: "There really is no room for complacency when it comes to level crossings, because if you take risks at level crossings you are gambling with your life and potentially others."

The top ten level crossings where incidents have taken place this year to date are:

  • Lansdowne Road
  • Serpentine Avenue
  • Sandymount Avenue
  • Sutton
  • Bray
  • Merrion Gates
  • Baldoyle Road
  • Coolmine
  • Cosh (between Sutton and Howth)
  • Sydney Parade
  • Banteer (Cork)

Iarnród Éireann said people should be aware of the rules at the different types of level crossings in Ireland.

At automatic crossings: Stop safely when the warning lights begin to flash. Never go through crossings when barriers are about to lower, or lowering.

At staff-operated crossings: Respect gatekeepers, whose role is to ensure your safety and that of rail users. Stop immediately when the gatekeeper requests it.

At user-operated crossings: Always stop before crossing to check the line, check the line again after crossing, and always close the gate after use for your safety and that of others.