A train struck a car in West Vancouver Thursday evening after the vehicle came to a stop on the tracks.
According to West Vancouver police, the Rocky Mountaineer train was heading eastbound crossing 13th Street at Bellevue Avenue at approximately 6:40 p.m., while the vehicle was heading southbound on 13th Street into Ambleside Park.
"The dinner train was heading home," said police spokesman Sgt. Tim Kravjanski. "The vehicle didn't notice the bells and the lights that were on. The front end got struck by the train."
The North Vancouver driver, 17, was ticketed $109 for failing to proceed with caution at a railway crossing. Kravjanski said the lights were operational at the time of the collision as well as an alarm that sounds for pedestrians. He said the train also sounds a warning bell to alert anyone near the non-gated crossing.
The officer at the scene reported the driver's stereo was very loud, according to WVPD spokesman Const. Jeff Palmer.
"The train travels very slowly through this area," said Kravjanski, adding that the maximum speed limit for trains is around 30 kilometers per hour.
Rocky Mountaineer spokesman Ian Robertson said the train had approximately 250 passengers on board and was travelling at just over 22 kilometers per hour, well under the regulated speed.
"Its a very unfortunate incident, however very fortunate that the situation wasn't any worse," said Robertson. "We're very grateful that there were no injuries to the driver and the passenger of the vehicle and certainly the number 1 priority for us is the safety and security of our guests."
Robertson said this is a rare incident for Rocky Mountaineer, which has a phenomenal safety record.
"I think this is a good learning (experience) for everyone that they need to exercise caution when approaching a level crossing," he said.
Upgrades around 15 years ago to several of the crossings in West Vancouver have drastically reduced the number of collisions, said Kravjanski.
"It's actually been very good lately," said Kravjanski. But police warn that despite the upgrades, accidents do occur that are preventable.
"It's a matter of paying attention, as most of these collisions have always been that issue," said Kravjanski. "They're not paying attention, something's distracted them and they don't see the flashing lights. It's just like running through a stoplight. If you run through a stoplight you possibly get hit by a car."
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