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Too many people still risking lives at level crossings

3,500 offences took place last year at level crossings Credit: pa

More than 3,500 offences at level crossings took place last year and British Transport Police say there are too many people risking their lives. This week extra patrols will be at crossings in the region and motorists and pedestrians will be warned about the dangers of the railway. It's part of a campaign by Network Rail.

"We have seen a drop in the number of offences at crossings, but there are still far too many people risking their lives.We'll be stepping up our activity during Operation Look to ensure we speak to as many people as possible about using crossings safely. There are crossings where people have just got into the habit of taking risks, and that has to stop."

– Inspector Becky Warren, British Transport Police

Dog owners urged to 'take the lead' near railways

A train driver from Farnborough has described the moment he almost hit a dog-walker at a level crossing in Surrey.

Five people have died and there have been more than 180 near-misses involving dog walkers in the last five years, according to new figures.

Network Rail and Dogs Trust have teamed up and released a new safety campaign video designed to shock, as Emma Wilkinson reports:

  1. Tom Savvides

Railway worker hit at level crossing

A railway worker has been talking of the terrifying moment he was seriously injured as he closed a gate at a level crossing. Doug Caddell was hurt when a car, trying to jump the barriers, struck the gate, throwing him to the ground. It happened at East Farleigh near Maidstone. Network Rail have started a campaign warning drivers and cyclists of the dangers at level crossings. Tom Savvides reports with interviews with Doug Caddell, drivers and James Banks from Network Rail.

Warning over dangers of level crossings

Pedestrians are risking injury or death by taking shortcuts and climbing over fencing at Grays level crossing in Essex, Network Rail and Thurrock Council have warned.

In the last six months, more than 260 incidents have been recorded. People have been seen by CCTV jumping off the platform, walking along the tracks to the crossing to exit the station or entering the station through the crossing and then coming on to the platform.

Others have damaged the barrier railings making them wide enough for a young child to squeeze through.

"It may be tempting to shave a minute or two off your journey but this a busy line and people are putting their lives at risk by walking on the track or trying to beat the barriers. Some people may think that taking a shortcut along the tracks isn’t really a risk, that they can get out of the way of the train but fatality figures show this isn’t the case. Waiting at a crossing can sometimes be frustrating but ignoring safety measures can result in tragic consequences, something we want to prevent. Over the next few weeks, we will be working with the council and the police by stepping up patrols, leafleting the area and holding a dedicated awareness day to reduce the number of incidents. However, if this situation continues we may have to seriously consider closing the level crossing as a last resort. The level of risk that people are putting themselves in is simply too high.”

– Steve Cassidy, Network Rail area director

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  1. Mike Pearse

Level crossing crackdown: Thousands putting themselves and others at risk of death or injury

British Transport Police issue cctv to warn people to beware at level crossings

A stark warning has been issued to anyone who might misuse level crossings. The British Transport Police say that thousands of cyclists, motorists and pedestrians are continuing to put themselves at risk of death or injury - by trying to beat the barriers at level crossings.

In the last few months, alone, the British Transport Police has charged or issued summons to 400 motorists for traffic offences, issued fixed penalties to 357 people, and offered awareness courses to 568.

Now in one of the biggest ever crackdowns, police will be out in force across every region this week, using the latest technology to catch offenders - and warn of the dangers.

Tina Hughes who lost her daughter in a level crossing accident was there at the launch of the initiative to back the awareness campaign. Our Transport Correspondent Mike Pearse reports.

The other interviewees are Inspector Becky Warren, British Transport Police; PC Simon Spencer-Briggs, a Mobile Safety Officer; and Clive Robey from Network Rail.