Network Rail and the British Transport Police (BTP) have today issued a warning that reckless and dangerous behaviour at Grimsby town centre level crossing could end in tragedy.
Footage captured by CCTV cameras at crossings on Littlefield and Wellowgate shows pedestrians using the crossings after the lights and sirens have started, and in some cases, as the barriers are coming down.
One piece of footage, which was filmed at the Wellowgate crossing, shows a group of young people running over the crossing after the barriers have started to lower, and become stuck on the wrong side of the barriers until they physically lift it.
Other footage shows pedestrians walking over the crossings as the barriers are starting to lower, when the lights and sirens would be clearly showing and sounding.
Vicki Beadle, community safety manager for Network Rail, said: “Some people are not using these crossings in a safe way. This is not only against the law, but puts people’s lives in danger.
“When the sirens and lights sound at a crossing, people should not attempt to cross it. I understand it can be frustrating waiting for trains to pass at level crossings, but please be patient, wait for the trains to pass and for the crossing to open and clear. Trying to rush across could possibly mean more delays for everyone.
“It is never worth the risk. Even if you manage to cross without getting hurt, misusing level crossings can cause delays to train services and other people.”
Inspector Tracy Metcalf from the British Transport Police (BTP), said: “Despite our constant warnings and enforcement action, motorists are continuing to risk their lives and the lives of others at level crossings. Incredibly, some people are still willing to put their lives on the line by ignoring warning lights and sirens and trying to dash through crossings when trains are approaching.
“Our main concern is for the safety of those who use level crossings everyday. We are more interested in preventing accidents and saving lives than enforcement.
“Most accidents are as a result of impatience; not being prepared to wait and trying to beat the train. For the sake of 60 seconds, a little patience can prevent lives being ruined.
“I have seen what happens when a train hits a car or person and have had the sad duty of destroying people’s lives by informing them that their loved ones have died. I would urge anyone who thinks trying to beat the red light is OK, take a second to think of the consequences and stop. It might just save your life. If anyone witnesses motorists ignoring level crossing procedures please contact BTP on Freephone 0800 405040 or text 61016 in confidence,” she added.
Helping people stay safe level crossings is one of Network Rail’s top priorities. Whether you’re walking, driving, cycling or even riding a horse, the company has guidance to help you use a level crossing safely.
When walking up to a level crossing, you need to:
- Concentrate – it’s easy to get distracted, especially by phones, music and conversation
- Stop, look and listen. Follow signs and instructions
- Check both ways before crossing – if there is a train coming, don’t cross
- Understand the warnings (lights, barriers, alarms)
- Cross quickly, keeping children close and dogs on a lead
More about level crossing safety can be found at: www.networkrail.co.uk/level-crossings
Network Rail also runs the ‘Rail Life’ campaign which is aimed at young people, and highlights the dangers and consequences of taking risks the on railway. This includes going into schools and colleges to speak with young people about this issue.
With the summer school holidays approaching and lighter evenings, parents can also help keep your children safe by reminding them that trespassing is against the law, but also incredibly dangerous.