Rail Accident And Incident Investigation Unit

The Investigation Unit

The Investigation Unit Legal status Budget

The Investigation Unit

The Investigation Unit is an organisation created to carry out safety investigations following a railway accident or incident. The Rail Accident and Incident Investigation Unit (RAIIU) operates independently of the Safety Authority, of any regulatory body for the railways or any other authority whose interest could conflict with its investigatory duties.

The decision to carry out an investigation is made independently according to different criteria, in particular depending on the circumstances, or because it presents an option to improve safety.

Investigations are lead by RAIIU investigators with the support of external experts depending on the skills required. The investigations are as transparent as possible and, therefore those involved in safety are informed from the start of the investigation so as to allow them to take immediate measures or to plan measures if necessary.

The RAIIU is hierarchically independent of the Minister for Mobility, the FPS Mobility and Transport, the Safety Authority, etc.

 

Legal Status

The creation of an independent unit responsible for investigating railway accidents and incidents for the improvement of safety is provided for by the European Directive 2004/49. This Directive has been transposed into Belgian law with one law and two implementing decrees.

Law of 30 August 2013 on the Railway Code

Chapter 6 of the Law of 30 August 2013 on the Railway Code relates to:   

The railway code partially transposes various European directives :

The Railway Code does not apply :

Royal decree of 16 January 2007

This Royal Decree partially transposes Directive 2004/49/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on safety on the Community’s railways and amending Council Directive 95/18/EC on the licensing of railway undertakings, as well as Directive 2001/14/EC on the allocation of railway infrastructure capacity and the levying of charges for the use of railway infrastructure and safety certification.

In its Chapter 3, it stipulates the autonomy that the RAIIU has to decide on when to open an investigation, visit the site and the scale of an investigation.

It sets out that the members of the RAIIU have an authority card and that the holder of this card has the powers listed in Article 113 of the Railway Code.

Royal decree of 22 June 2011

The Royal Decree of 22 June 2011 designates the Rail Accident and Incident Investigation Unit (RAIIU) .

This Royal Decree partially transposes Directive 2004/49/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on safety on the Community’s railways and amending Council Directive 95/18/EC on the licensing of railway undertakings, as well as Directive 2001/14/EC on the allocation of railway infrastructure capacity and the levying of charges for the use of railway infrastructure and safety certification.

It stipulates in Article 4, that the chief investigator and the assistant investigator of the IU may have no link to the Department for Railway Safety and Interoperability (DRSI), or to any railway regulatory body or any authority whose interests could conflict with the investigation.

Budget

The creation of an organic budgetary fund by Article 4 of the programme act of 23 December 2009 is intended to guarantee the financial independence of the Rail Accident and Incident Investigation Unit.

The funds are made up of contributions to the operational costs of the RAIIU by the infrastructure manager and railway undertakings.

The King determines, by Decree, the amount of the annual RAIIU budget, after consultation with the Council of Ministers.

The annual budget is established by the Chief Investigator in collaboration with the department for Budget and Management Control. He has the power to authorise various expenses within the financial limits mentioned, to finalise contracts etc. The Ministerial Decree of 4 October 2011 sets the powers which are delegated to the Chief Investigator in financial matters.

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