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Railways and Transport Safety Bill


Railways and Transport Safety Bill
Part 1 — Investigation of Railway Accidents

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A

Bill

[AS AMENDED ON REPORT]

To

Make provision about railways, including tramways; to make provision about

transport safety; and for connected purposes.                                                                            

Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and

consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present

Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

Part 1

Investigation of Railway Accidents

Introduction

 1     Meaning of “railway” and “railway property”

     (1)    In this Part—

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                    “railway” means a railway or tramway within the meaning given by

section 67 of the Transport and Works Act 1992 (c. 42), and

                    “railway property” means anything which falls within the definition of

“light maintenance depot”, “network”, “rolling stock”, “station” or

“track” in section 83 of the Railways Act 1993 (c. 43), or which falls

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within the equivalent of any those definitions in relation to a tramway.

     (2)    The Secretary of State may by regulations amend this section.

     (3)    This section is subject to section 14(2).

 2     Meaning of “railway accident” and “railway incident”

     (1)    In this Part a reference to a railway accident or railway incident is a reference

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to an accident or incident which occurs on railway property in so far as it is or

may be relevant to the operation of the railway.

 
HL Bill 8053/2
 
 

Railways and Transport Safety Bill
Part 1 — Investigation of Railway Accidents

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     (2)    The Secretary of State may by regulations—

           (a)           make provision about what is to be or not to be treated as an accident

or incident for the purposes of this Part;

           (b)           make provision about circumstances in which an accident or incident is

to be or not to be treated as being relevant to the operation of a railway

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for the purposes of this Part;

           (c)           make provision about when an accident is to be treated as serious for

the purposes of this Part.

     (3)    Regulations under subsection (2) may, in particular, make provision by

reference to—

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           (a)           location;

           (b)           the exercise of a discretion by the Chief Inspector of Rail Accidents or

another specified person.

     (4)    Regulations under subsection (2) making provision about what is to be treated

as an incident may, in particular, include an event or omission which does not

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cause damage or loss but which might cause damage or loss in different

circumstances.

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch

 3     Establishment

     (1)    The Secretary of State shall appoint persons as inspectors of rail accidents.

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     (2)    The Secretary of State shall appoint one of the inspectors as the Chief Inspector

of Rail Accidents.

     (3)    The inspectors appointed under this section may be referred to as the Rail

Accident Investigation Branch (being a branch of the department of the

Secretary of State who appoints them).

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     (4)    An inspector of rail accidents shall carry out such of the functions of the Rail

Accident Investigation Branch as may be assigned to him by the Chief

Inspector of Rail Accidents.

 4     General aims

In exercising their functions the Rail Accident Investigation Branch shall,

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wherever relevant, aim—

           (a)           to improve the safety of railways, and

           (b)           to prevent railway accidents and railway incidents.

 5     Assistance to others

The Chief Inspector of Rail Accidents may arrange for the Rail Accident

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Investigation Branch to assist any person; in particular, assistance—

           (a)           may be provided with or without charge;

           (b)           may be provided inside or outside the United Kingdom.

 

 

Railways and Transport Safety Bill
Part 1 — Investigation of Railway Accidents

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 6     Annual report

     (1)    The Secretary of State shall make regulations requiring the Chief Inspector of

Rail Accidents to produce once in each calendar year a report in connection

with the activities of the Rail Accident Investigation Branch.

     (2)    Regulations under subsection (1) may, in particular, make provision about—

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           (a)           timing of reports;

           (b)           content of reports;

           (c)           publication and other treatment of reports.

Investigation by Branch

 7     Investigations

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     (1)    The Rail Accident Investigation Branch—

           (a)           shall investigate any serious railway accident,

           (b)           may investigate a non-serious railway accident or a railway incident,

and

           (c)           shall investigate a non-serious railway accident or a railway incident if

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required to do so by or in accordance with regulations made by the

Secretary of State.

     (2)    For the purposes of subsection (1)(a) a tramway shall not be treated as a

railway (despite section 1(1)).

     (3)    In investigating an accident or incident the Branch shall try to determine what

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caused it.

     (4)    On completion of an investigation the Branch shall report to the Secretary of

State.

     (5)    In performing a function in relation to an accident or incident the Branch—

           (a)           shall not consider or determine blame or liability, but

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           (b)           may determine and report on a cause of an accident or incident whether

or not blame or liability is likely to be inferred from the determination

or report.

     (6)    The Branch may conduct an investigation and report whether or not civil or

criminal proceedings are in progress or may be instituted (but this subsection

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is without prejudice to the operation of the law of contempt of court).

     (7)    The Chief Inspector of Rail Accidents may apply to the High Court or the

Crown Court for a declaration that the making of a report in connection with a

specified accident or incident will not amount to a contempt of court in relation

to civil or criminal proceedings which have been or may be instituted in

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connection with the accident or incident.

     (8)    The Chief Inspector of Rail Accidents may reopen an investigation if he

believes that significant new evidence may be available.

 8     Investigator’s powers

     (1)    For the purpose of conducting an investigation by virtue of section 7 an

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inspector of rail accidents may, provided that he produces evidence of his

identity if asked to do so—

 

 

Railways and Transport Safety Bill
Part 1 — Investigation of Railway Accidents

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           (a)           enter railway property;

           (b)           enter land (which may include a dwelling-house) which adjoins or

abuts railway property;

           (c)           enter a vehicle or structure which is on railway property or which is on

land which could be entered under paragraph (b);

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           (d)           enter land which does not fall within paragraph (a), (b) or (c) if—

                  (i)                 it is used wholly or partly for the purposes of or in connection

with anything done on or with railway property, or

                  (ii)                the inspector reasonably believes that it may contain evidence

relating to an accident or incident;

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           (e)           in entering anything under paragraph (a), (b), (c) or (d), be

accompanied by one or more persons authorised by the Chief Inspector

of Rail Accidents for that purpose (whether generally or specifically);

           (f)           in entering anything under paragraph (a), (b), (c) or (d), make

arrangements to have with him equipment or materials.

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     (2)    For the purpose of conducting an investigation by virtue of section 7 an

inspector of rail accidents may—

           (a)           make a written, electronic, photographic or other record;

           (b)           remove and retain samples;

           (c)           arrange for anything to be removed and retained for the purpose of

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analysis or other examination or for the purpose of preserving

evidence;

           (d)           require access to a record or to recording equipment;

           (e)           require a person to answer a question;

           (f)           require a person to provide information;

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           (g)           require a person to disclose a record;

           (h)           require a person to provide a copy of a record;

           (i)           require disclosure of the result of an examination of a person, body or

thing;

           (j)           require a person to certify the truth, accuracy or authenticity of a

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statement made, of information or a document provided or of a record

disclosed.

     (3)    A person commits an offence if without reasonable excuse he—

           (a)           fails to comply with a requirement imposed by an inspector of rail

accidents for the purpose of an investigation by virtue of section 7,

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           (b)           makes a statement for the purpose of an investigation by virtue of

section 7 knowing or suspecting that the statement is inaccurate or

misleading,

           (c)           provides information or a record for the purpose of an investigation by

virtue of section 7 knowing or suspecting that the information or record

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is inaccurate or misleading,

           (d)           obstructs an inspector of rail accidents in the course of his conduct of an

investigation by virtue of section 7,

           (e)           obstructs a person accompanying an inspector of rail accidents under

subsection (1)(e), or

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           (f)           obstructs a person exercising a power of an inspector by virtue of

regulations under section 9(1)(d).

     (4)    A person who is guilty of an offence under subsection (3) shall be liable on

summary conviction to—

 

 

Railways and Transport Safety Bill
Part 1 — Investigation of Railway Accidents

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           (a)           imprisonment for a term not exceeding 51 weeks,

           (b)           a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale, or

           (c)           both.

     (5)    Subsection (6) applies where—

           (a)           the Rail Accident Investigation Branch is conducting an investigation

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by virtue of section 7 in respect of an accident or incident, and

           (b)           a question arises as to the desirability of action which any other person

proposes to take for the purpose of investigating the accident or

incident.

     (6)    The question may be determined by—

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           (a)           the Chief Inspector of Rail Accidents, or

           (b)           an inspector of rail accidents acting on behalf of the Chief Inspector.

 9     Regulations

     (1)    The Secretary of State may make regulations about the conduct of

investigations by the Rail Accident Investigation Branch; in particular, the

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regulations may—

           (a)           confer a function on the Chief Inspector of Rail Accidents or on the

Branch;

           (b)           make provision about the way in which a function of the Chief

Inspector or the Branch is to be performed;

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           (c)           permit or require the Chief Inspector to appoint a person to conduct or

participate in an investigation;

           (d)           provide for a power of an inspector to be exercisable by a person

conducting or participating in an investigation by virtue of paragraph

(c);

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           (e)           permit or require the Chief Inspector to request assistance from another

person;

           (f)           permit or require another person to assist the Chief Inspector.

     (2)    The regulations may make provision about the preparation, form, content and

publication of a report made by the Branch under section 7; in particular, the

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regulations may—

           (a)           require a report to address the question of what caused an accident or

incident;

           (b)           require or permit a report to make, or not to make, a recommendation;

           (c)           require or permit the preparation and publication by the Branch of an

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interim report;

           (d)           require the Branch to give an opportunity to a person interested in an

investigation to comment on a draft report or draft interim report;

           (e)           require the Branch to notify a person of the content of a report or

interim report before publication;

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           (f)           require the Branch to give a copy of a report or interim report to a

person;

           (g)           make provision about the timing of publication.

     (3)    A reference to a report by the Branch in section 7 includes a reference to an

interim report permitted or required by virtue of subsection (2) above.

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Railways and Transport Safety Bill
Part 1 — Investigation of Railway Accidents

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     (4)    The Secretary of State may make regulations about the use, disclosure and

destruction of information acquired by the Branch; in particular, the

regulations may—

           (a)           prohibit the disclosure of information in specified circumstances;

           (b)           permit the disclosure of information in specified circumstances;

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           (c)           require the disclosure of information in specified circumstances;

           (d)           make provision by reference to whether or not a person consents to a

disclosure which relates to him.

     (5)    Regulations under this section may—

           (a)           create an offence (but not an offence punishable by imprisonment);

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           (b)           confer a discretionary function;

           (c)           confer jurisdiction on a court or tribunal.

Investigation by industry

 10    Requirement to investigate

     (1)    The Chief Inspector of Rail Accidents may direct that any railway accident or

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railway incident of a specified kind or which occurs in specified circumstances

shall be investigated by each person who manages or controls, or participates

in managing or controlling, all or any part of railway property—

           (a)           on which the accident or incident takes place, or

           (b)           which is involved in the accident or incident.

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     (2)    A direction—

           (a)           shall specify the manner in which the investigation is to be conducted,

and

           (b)           may make provision for a case where more than one person would be

required to conduct an investigation, whether by requiring a joint

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investigation or by requiring or enabling one or more persons to

conduct an investigation on behalf of others.

     (3)    A person to whom a direction under subsection (1) applies commits an offence

if he fails to comply with it.

     (4)    A person guilty of an offence under subsection (3) shall be liable—

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           (a)           on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding the statutory

maximum, or

           (b)           on conviction on indictment, to a fine.

     (5)    The Chief Inspector shall publish a direction issued by him under subsection

(1) in a manner which he considers will bring it to the attention of each person

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who is likely to be required to comply with it.

     (6)    But in proceedings against a person for an offence under subsection (3) of

failing to comply with a direction it shall not be necessary to prove that he was

aware of the direction.

     (7)    A direction under subsection (1)—

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           (a)           may make provision which applies generally or only in specified

circumstances,

           (b)           may make different provision for different cases or circumstances, and

           (c)           may be varied or revoked by a further direction.

 

 

 
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