One in seven drivers would jump a level crossing

Drivers risking lives, as well as three penalty points, by jumping level crossing lights. New campaign and video highlight dangers

One in seven drivers would risk their life by jumping red lights at a level crossing, new research has revealed.

Around 46 incidents involving vehicles occur on the UK’s 3,800 level crossings every week, with 10,500 occurring over the last five years. Six people have died and “many more” have been injured over the same period.

Six points and a £200 fine for using your mobile while driving

Network Rail, the government-owned company responsible for level crossings, signals, tunnels and tracks, surveyed 1,600 people and found one in seven drivers would jump a level crossing before the barriers had opened.

A further one in nine said they would go straight over a level crossing if they had checked train timetables and believed no train was due. This, Network Rail says, is particularly dangerous as freight trains and other trains not listed on timetables can travel through crossings at speeds up to 100mph.

Lorries were the most common type of vehicle involved in level crossing misuse, making up 32 per cent of recorded incidents; car drivers were the second most common, at 28 per cent. The video above shows just how dangerous crossings can be.

Drivers who jump level crossings face being fined £60 and given three penalty points for failing to comply with traffic signs – or offered the option of a level crossing awareness course.

Some 21 of the most dangerous level crossings in Sussex have been fitted with enforcement cameras that will automatically issue tickets for drivers who do not obey lights, or stop at barriers.

Allan Spence, head of public and passenger safety at Network Rail, said there was a clear “lack of knowledge around how dangerous railway crossings can be.” Spence said Network Rails is investing £100 million in level crossing safety, but cautioned it remains the responsibility of drivers to “keep ourselves and those in our vehicles out of harm’s way.”

Network Rail is legally responsible for managing level crossing safety, and assesses each crossing on its network once every 1.25 to 3.25 years.

Recommended

Over a quarter of drivers are late for their MoT
MOT testing station
Consumer news

Over a quarter of drivers are late for their MoT

Motorists who drive a car without a valid MoT certificate risk a fine of up to £1,000
7 Aug 2020
Company car tax guide 2019/2020: everything you need to know
Consumer news

Company car tax guide 2019/2020: everything you need to know

Strict new emissions tests will affect how much company car tax we pay. Here we look at how the system has changed
6 Aug 2020
Six-month MoT extension ends on Saturday
Consumer news

Six-month MoT extension ends on Saturday

Department for Transport ends MoT extension on Saturday 1 August; cars due an MoT before that date still get extra six months
29 Jul 2020
Number of road deaths remain virtually unchanged since 2012
Accident boards to stop rubbernecking
News

Number of road deaths remain virtually unchanged since 2012

The latest provisional figures suggest road deaths have remained virtually unchanged for years, prompting criticism from motoring groups
20 Jul 2020

Most Popular

New 2022 BMW M3 Touring officially confirmed
BMW 3 Series Touring

New 2022 BMW M3 Touring officially confirmed

New hot BMW M3 Touring estate on the way and it’ll feature the same 503bhp straight-six engine as the saloon. Our exclusive image previews how it coul…
12 Aug 2020
Entire Volkswagen line-up updated for 2021
News

Entire Volkswagen line-up updated for 2021

Volkswagen has revised its complete range of vehicles for 2021, adding new engines, fresh tech and its latest MIB3 infotainment system
11 Aug 2020
New 2020 Audi S3 Sportback blasts in with 306bhp
Audi S3

New 2020 Audi S3 Sportback blasts in with 306bhp

Audi’s latest hot hatch keeps four-cylinder power but turns up the wick and level of standard tech
11 Aug 2020