March 15, 2010

Pedestrians and Motorist Being Narrowly Missed by Trains

Safety measures at level crossings need to be largely improved however, this is largely due to motorists and pedestrians taking dangerous risks.

CCTV footage has captured pedestrians and drivers being narrowly missed by fast approaching trains.

12 people have died due to level crossing misuse or error this year alone, and the numbers have seen an increase every year since 2003.

Barriers, flashing lights and a warning sound seem to be insufficient. Pedestrians still jump the barrier and cars continue to stop on the tracks when queuing in traffic, surely common sense would tell you that the track needs to be kept clear at all times.

Network Rail is coming down heavy on anyone that breaks the rules. Fines up to £1000 are being handed out however, that is the lightest punishment, losing your life is a risk you take when you cross the paths of a train travelling up to 75mph. Railway companies are also pushing for the theory test to include level crossing safety.

There are a few key pieces of advice to remember when approaching and using a level crossing:

When pushing a wheelchair or pram across the track, keep the wheels at a right angle to the track so that the wheels don’t get stuck. Always carry bikes and skateboards across, don’t attempt to ride them.

Never queue on a level crossing, keep it clear at all times and then proceed with caution, checking in both directions.

Remember that it is illegal to climb over the barriers and walk across the track once the warning signs are in place.

Natasha Simper of Britannia Driving School said: “It is understandable when drivers rush to get across the level crossing before the barriers descend as they can be down for as long as 10 minutes at a time. However, what is 10 minutes compared to a life. Don’t run the risk!”

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