Tragic news is coming in that a motorcyclist and four children have been crushed under a train, as they were crossing an unguarded level railway crossing near Nankana. One appreciates the concern of the Punjab government to issue cheques to the aggrieved families in its capacity as the provincial setup. It is a pity that the federal government, which is responsible for providing gates, has not installed them, nor positioned guards there round the clock to forestall such incidents. Given this state of neglect, such accidents have become rather frequent; it is, therefore, high time that something was done to prevent such happenings in future.

To begin with installation of gates, protective fence, a guard on duty and a 24/7 functioning signal system at vulnerable points are a must. It costs money but given the danger to life, it would be worth the expense. Secondly, the citizens must check the tendency to make haste even when it means bolting in front of an approaching train. Some impatient commuters tend not to worry that a train is on its way. So far as the accident on Monday is concerned, the motorcyclist was riding with four children, limiting his ability to manoeuvre, a factor that in the absence of gates and signals only increases the likelihood of accidents. This is merely a detail of the tragedy and in no way absolves the federal railways ministry of its responsibility of setting its house in order.