Railway crossing warning

Hampden Park level crossing. ENGSNL00120111116155509

Hampden Park level crossing. ENGSNL00120111116155509

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People who misuse railway crossings are being targeted by British Transport Police (BTP) as it attempts to reduce the thousands of cases each year.

BTP deal with incidents on a daily basis where pedestrians and motorists risk not only their lives, but 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 in a week of action starting on Monday, 29 September.

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 1 April 2013 and 31 March 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.”