CZ/SK verze

The Number of Deaths on the Czech Tracks Increased Rapidly Last Year

The Number of Deaths on the Czech Tracks Increased Rapidly Last Year
photo: Police of the Czech Republic/The Number of Deaths on the Czech Tracks Increased Rapidly Last Year
06 / 01 / 2023

The number of incidents, deaths and injuries in the Czech Republic has returned to pre-pandemic levels. In 2022, 249 people died on all railways, matching the figures for 2019 and 2020. However, more than four-fifths of those killed are people who trespassed on tracks where they were killed by an oncoming train. While the Railway Inspectorate recorded lower overall numbers of incidents in 2020 and 2021, last year, the number of incidents was close to the 2017 to 2019 figures. There was an increase of more than 16% in the number of incidents compared to 2021. At the same time as the increase in incidents, the number of people killed increased by almost 21% and the number of people injured by less than 4%.

The highest number of incidents occurred on tramways, trolleybuses, cableways and in the metro, namely 3 214, which is almost 20% more than in the previous year. On rail (excluding metro), the total number of incidents increased by 10% and the total number of fatalities by 21% compared to 2021. In contrast, the number of people injured in rail incidents decreased by 4 cases (2%).

The biggest influence on the number of persons killed in the statistical outputs of the Railway Inspectorate each year is train-person collisions (walking on the track, crossing the tracks outside the level crossing), and in 2022 the number of train-person collisions was 26% higher compared to 2021, which also had an impact on the higher number of persons killed in these accidents, which we record as many as 200, i.e. almost 23% more than in 2021.

There was also an increase in the number of incidents at level crossings, where the Railway Inspectorate recorded a total of 166 collisions in 2022 (six more than in 2021). Although the increase in the number of incidents was less than 4%, the total number of people killed in incidents at level crossings increased by almost 28% to 37. The number of injured increased even more, by almost 32%.

The trend of increasing numbers of unauthorised journeys (i.e., railway vehicles beyond a signal prohibiting movement) continued in 2022, but these incidents were not as tragic compared to the previous year. Whereas in 2021, 4 people died and 60 others were injured in these incidents, in 2022, one person (the driver) died, and nine people were injured. In terms of long-term analyses of the circumstances in which these incidents occur, the Railway Inspectorate has found that the majority of incidents in which a signal prohibiting driving is passed are due to driver error or mistake, in other words, inattention.

At the beginning of each month, the Railway Inspectorate updates the published statistical data for the previous period. These data are publicly available, and their use is not restricted in any way if the Railway Inspectorate is named as the source. Within the territorial breakdown, the data are broken down into statistical outputs by region. All these data are available on the Railway Inspectorate's website in the section Extraordinary events → Extraordinary events statistics.

Source: Czech Railway Inspectorate, ČTK