posted 5 years ago

Motorists Risking Lives At Level Crossings

Footage Shows Motorists And Pedestrians Risking Lives

Network Rail has revealed that motorists and pedestrians are continuing to risk lives at level crossings. Many, therefore, ignore the flashing warning lights/sirens and charge through at the last moment. These acts threaten the perpetrators' lives and those on the trains. Closed circuit television has recently recorded several particularly alarming incidents. One involved a motorist that overtook a vehicle at speed - on a blind bend - then raced through a crossing as the barrier started to fall. Another showed a tipper truck jumping the lights then narrowly missing the barrier that was inches from striking its top. There is also footage of a man running through a crossing while pushing a baby buggy. He had to duck to avoid being struck by a barrier that was moving towards his head. Such footage only represents a small fraction of the incidents that occur everyday.

Network Rail Reduces The Number Of Level Crossings

Network Rail recognises that level crossings are not necessarily the safest way to help motorists and pedestrians cross railways. As such, four years ago it set a target to reduce their numbers by ten percent - from seven hundred and fifty - by 2014. This objective was met with the closure of the crossing on the East Coast Main Line in Cambridgeshire. The total number of crossings has now fallen by ninety-four on the Anglia route that serves Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Cambridgeshire, the North Thames Estuary and coastal regions. Network Rail has estimated that this has reduced the risk crossings pose to the network by twenty-five percent. Furthermore, there has been work to improve the safety of the crossings that cannot be replaced. Enhancements include new warning lights, obstacle detection radar and voice warnings that emphasise 'another train is coming'. The railway operator now plans to further reduce the number of level crossings.

Railway Boss Discusses Level Crossings

Robin Gisby, Managing Director of Network Operations for Network Rail, said: 'Reaching our target to close seven hundred and fifty crossings in four years is good news for Network Rail, train operators and of course the public - but we cannot be complacent. There is much more we can do to make the level crossings that remain safer and we will continue to introduce new technology, upgrade crossings to include lights or barriers where appropriate and work with schools, communities and other organisations to spread awareness of our safety message.' He concluded: 'We've pledged to close a further five-hundred crossings in the next five years. Successfully closing a crossing isn't always a straightforward process, so we will need the support from local authorities, landowners and the public to help us achieve our new target and improve safety further'.


More level crossing misuse videos


It is possibly the psychology of drivers that those in power don't realise. I used to drive a school bus route that goes across the crossing on Manor Road (next to North Sheen station); once the barriers came down and nothing then arrived for a about 2 minutes until a train approached heading TOWARDS Richmond and stopped at North Sheen station for about a minute or so before THEN crossing the crossing and the barriers then lifting after it had crossed. Why was it necessary to lower the barriers BEFORE the train was ready to leave [AFTER stopping at] the station? Was it to protect the traffic from the possibility of the driver committing a SPAD? If so, then train drivers who commit SPADs should be prosecuted with the same zeal as drivers who race across crossing when the signals start to/already show. Another crossing I have used quite often is on the Betchworth to Guildford line; the barriers go down about 30 seconds before the train passes and raise again very quickly afterwards - a total of less than 1 minute which is often exceeded at the Manor Road crossing WITHOUT any train passing once the barriers have gone down. The problem is drivers see the barriers come down and nothing pass for over a minute and the railway people wonder why drivers risk going round the barriers? Clearly by bringing the barriers down so early they are expecting drivers to risk the crossing and have allowed it in the time before the train arrives.

A mandatory 5 year ban for drivers who risk the lives of passengers.

To be fair it isn't the train company's fault if idiots don't stop for the crossing. It couldn't be clearer when the lights show and the barrier comes down you stop. If you carry on you deserve to get hit by the oncoming train. Or at least some sort of punishment driving ban or imprisonment for endangering other peoples lives.

They have just closed a level crossing (footpath only) near me which means that people usinf it are now put into much more danger by having to go a long way round on local roads... Network rail have just passed the buck and put us into more danger!

Level crossings are safe but not idiot proof, those idiots who abuse the crossings should be fined heavily if they are a pedestrian and if a motorist a fine and confiscation of the car

You want to solve the level crossing dodger issue - install spikes in the road right the way across both sides - spring loaded as soon as the lights come on - they spring up covering a gap of 6 ft from the crossing in rows with small gaps between them... that way pedestrians dont manage to dodge either!

I am the first to criticise H and S - otherwise known as 'Elf and Sifety - for over regulation and over Nanny State syndrome, but here is an example where the barrier gate jumpers deserve everything they get - but they don't,do they? Far less serious crimes get well overpunished but it seems rail authorities cannot be bothered ! - I guarantee a few well publicised prosecutions would be far more effective than actually closing down barriers - and a lot cheaper too!

Why oh why do the reports put the blame on the rail operators. Health and Safety principles require positive participation by the proprietor (in this case the rail operators etc) and the employee ( the public). If, as the footage appears to confirm, details of the motorists is captured, then prosecute them and impound their vehicles. This is surely a reasonable case of potential endangering public safety or loss of life. Prosecute these morons off the road, they appear to afford a total lack of consideration to the legally travelling public, disruption to people's lives and the trauma to those who are faced with a completely avoidable accident. The 'casualties ' have ignored flashing light, warning sounds, dropping or closing barriers and still we blame the rail operators - get some accountability focused on the people who are the cause of the incidents.

they don't put barriers at traffic lites and every body waits, yeah you get the A holes now and again jump them so why do people think they can do it at level crossings, beats me, imho they deserve wot they get

Whiel its a stupiod thing to do, some rail crossings with gates are closed for far to long. OIne locally in Bramley is regualrly shut for up to 5 minutes before a train arrives. Sometimes you can see the rrain staionarry in the station and the gates are shut for a few unecesary minutes it finally moves off. More relistic timeings from the rail operators would be a good thing

Note everyone blaming network rail, the crossing etc. No one is blaming the idiots who CHOOSE to jump the crossing when the lights flash. I personaly feel sorry for the train driver and passengers when there is a vehicle or pedestrian strike seeing car parts or body parts fly by the windows through no fault of their own. Better education of the people who break the law and also better education of kids as to what will happen to you if hid at speed by a 2 car dmu. Chuffed to bits comes to mind. Anyone who jumps a crossing in a car should be banned from driving for a minimum of 2 years IMO.

Having been in the safety business for many years, I cannot understand why the are still so many ungated crossings. Whilst not the complete answer, gates must make crossings safer and, although expensive, would seem a reasonable investment.

My sister used to live near a railway crossing years ago and when I used to visit her, the lights would flash and, if you looked, you could see the train arriving. Now they seam to put the barriers down 5 minutes before the train comes and, if another train is expected, leave them down even though there is plenty of time to raise them and lower them. I think it is because there are more unmanned crossing which result in more motorist getting impatient. Maybe network rail should be forced to put road bridges or underpasses on all roads that cross a railway line and the problem would be solved!

So the solution is to close the crossing - How moronic is that or maybe its about cost cutting being nearer the truth. If you are going to close crossing, then close it on the train side :)

Network Rail provide safe places for people to cross the tracks. Why do we have to spoon feed people? Why, when "accidents" happen due to the stupidity of a few IQ challenged individuals do people start looking for others to blame. I am with Mark on this, let natural selection take its course... it's a pity the emergency services and those on the affected train have to suffer as a consequence though.

Having observed youths doing this several years ago, I came to the conclusion there are some amazingly stupid people about - or is this a form of natural selection? (Obviously not, if its a mother pushing pram over the crossing!)