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  1. ITV Report

Shocking footage shows people putting their lives at risk on level crossing

Shocking footage released by Network Rail of people risking their lives to beat the barriers at a level crossing at Poole High Street.

They revealed that more than a third of all incidents at level crossings in the county happen there.

Despite the warning lights and alarms going off, cyclists and pedestrians can be seen risking their lives by attempting to make the crossing ahead of passing trains.

Eighty six incidents were recorded at level crossings in Dorset in the last year - of those, 36% were on Poole High Street level crossing.

The cyclists and pedestrians from this footage were extremely lucky to have avoided serious harm – the consequences could have been so much worse.

Incidents of this nature, particularly where people think they can make it over the level crossing before the barrier closes, are worryingly common in Dorset- particularly at Poole High Street- and we are working with local authorities to educate people on the dangers of deliberately misusing crossings.

There are no excuses for attempting to use level crossing when the lowering sequence is active - it’s not just potential criminal proceedings that you’re risking, it’s also your life.

– Sam Pead, Network Rail level crossing manager

This warning comes as a quarter of UK adults admit they don’t know the guidance around how to use a level crossing safely, and young people are even more clueless, with more than a third of 16 – 24 year olds feeling they are unaware.

While Britain has the safest rail network in Europe, level crossings are one of the biggest public safety risks as Network Rail’s 20,000 miles of track directly interfaces with about 6,000 road and footpath crossings.

Since 2013 one person has been killed on average on a level crossing every eight weeks. In the last year there has also been a 12 per cent rise in the number of incidents³ at level crossings.