Drivers warned about rail line safety
POLICE swooped at a notorious level crossing to warn drivers of the consequences of ignoring red lights and barriers.
British Transport Police (BTP) officers wearing high-visibility jackets targeted Helpston level crossing yesterday, which sees up to 15 drivers a week risk their lives by breaking the law.
Police spoke to motorists and pedestrians about the dangers and offered advice on how to stay safe on the railway. Scores of leaflets were also handed out , which posed the question: “Would it kill you to wait?”
The operation was part of International Level Crossing Awareness Day and also saw Network Rail get involved.
No drivers were caught flouting the rules at Helpston yesterday.
BTP Sergeant Mark Brown said saving a few minutes by darting through red lights was not worth the risk.
He added: “Although it’s frustrating to wait, it’s not worth taking that chance.
“We get around 10 to 15 reports a week at Helpston of people going through the red lights and hitting barriers and we investigate every single one. Trains travel at high speed and with huge momentum - they cannot swerve to avoid obstacles on the line.
“For that reason I would urge that drivers are mindful that they do not to risk endangering their lives, or the lives of others.”
As part of the awareness day, Network Rail and BTP organised events cross the country.
Martin Gallagher, Network Rail’s head of community safety said: “We have a good safety record in comparison to many other countries but even one death is one too many.
“Jumping the lights and ignoring warning signs is sadly a sight we see all too often.
“Level crossings are safe, but if misused, they all pose very real risks.”