GELEEN, Netherlands -- Dutch rail officials are warning the public to remain vigilant at railroad crossings after a cyclist's frighteningly close call with an oncoming train.
The near miss, which was caught on security camera, took place recently at a crossing in Geleen, a town of less than 34,000 in the southern province of Limburg.
The cyclist, whose face is blurred, can be seen waiting for a cargo train to pass on the near set of tracks. Once the first train passes, the cyclist ventures onto the tracks, apparently not realizing that a second train is approaching from the opposite direction on the far set of tracks.
Mere feet from the oncoming passenger train, the cyclist seems to become aware of the locomotive barreling toward him and hurries to finish crossing the tracks, narrowly clearing the train.
ProRail, the Dutch agency responsible for railway infrastructure, described the railroad crossing where the near miss took place as "unguarded," writing on YouTube that it had been working to eliminate all such crossings but had encountered resistance from some residents and local governments.
"A frequently heard arguement...is that people can 'look after themselves,'" ProRail said. "Unfortunately, we see other signals in practice."
Though the cyclist in this video appeared to escape unharmed, others were not so lucky. Excluding suicides, more than a dozen people have died in accidents on the Dutch rail system in 2018, according to local media reports, and there have been thousands of more near misses.
After the video's release, State Secretary Stientje van Veldhoven announced that all of the country's 135 unguarded railway crossings would be "closed or protected within five years."
"Crossings not protected by barriers and bells are, simply, no longer appropriate to the present time. That is why we are committed to do away with all such crossings within five years, but preferably even sooner," van Veldhoven said.