Monday, 27 October 2014

Warning issued over misuse of railway crossings . . .


Warning issued over misuse of railway crossings

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BRITISH Transport Police are targeting people who misuse railway crossings as they attempt to reduce the thousands of cases each year they need to deal with.

Nearly 4,000 offences at railway crossings where dealt with between April 1, 2013, and March 31, 2014 by BTP in which pedestrians and motorists risk not only their own lives, but also those of rail passengers and staff by misusing crossings.

Operation Look will see BTP officers and colleagues from Network Rail carry out extra patrols across the country and officers will talk to pedestrians and drivers about the dangers of crossing misuse. They will also visit schools, youth clubs and local businesses to warn people to use crossings safely.

While communicating the importance of proper level crossing use is vital, BTP is also committed to enforcement.

Between April 1, 2013, and March 31, 2014, 732 motorists were charged or summonsed for crossing misuse, with a further 740 issued with fixed penalty notices, and 102 cautioned for traffic offences.

A further 2,125 drivers were sent on safety-awareness courses. The vast majority completed the course, with very few going on to re-offend.

BTP is also determined to tackle pedestrian misuse of crossings and its recent campaign to warn against any trespass on the railway, Operation Intruder, involved education and extra patrols at crossings.

Insp Becky Warren said: “It is important people realise there is a serious penalty to pay for crossing-misuse. However, while we will not hesitate to use the force of the law, we are also acutely aware of the need to promote safety at crossings through education. We need drivers and pedestrians to realise level crossing misuse is a danger, not only to their safety, but the safety of others.

“We work closely with our partners at Network Rail, as well as colleagues across other police forces, to ensure crossings remain as safe as possible and will spend much of this week of action talking to people who use level crossings on a daily basis.”

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