Railways and Transport Safety Act 2003

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation2003 c. 20


Railways and Transport Safety Act2003

2003 CHAPTER 20

An Act to make provision about railways, including tramways; to make provision about transport safety; and for connected purposes.

[10th July 2003]

B e 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:—

1 Investigation of Railway Accidents

Part 1

Investigation of Railway Accidents

Introduction

Introduction

S-1 Meaning of ‘railway’ and ‘railway property’

1 Meaning of ‘railway’ and ‘railway property’

(1) In this Part—

‘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 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).

S-2 Meaning of ‘railway accident’ and ‘railway incident’

2 Meaning of ‘railway accident’ and ‘railway incident’

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

(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 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—

(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 cause damage or loss but which might cause damage or loss in different circumstances.

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch

S-3 Establishment

3 Establishment

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

(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).

(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.

S-4 General aims

4 General aims

In exercising their functions the Rail Accident Investigation Branch shall, wherever relevant, aim—

(a) to improve the safety of railways, and

(b) to prevent railway accidents and railway incidents.

S-5 Assistance to others

5 Assistance to others

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

S-6 Annual report

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—

(a) timing of reports;

(b) content of reports;

(c) publication and other treatment of reports.

Investigation by Branch

Investigation by Branch

S-7 Investigations

7 Investigations

(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 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 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

(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 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 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.

S-8 Investigator's powers

8 Investigator's powers

(1) For the purpose of conducting an investigation by virtue of section 7 an inspector of rail accidents may, provided that he produces evidence of his identity if asked to do so—

(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);

(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;

(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.

(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 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;

(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 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,

(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 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

(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—

(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 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...

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