Image courtesy of Network Rail
Network Rail has launched a campaign to drivers to be careful at level crossings on their evening commute following the release of figures which showed that more than 50% of all near misses at level crossings since 2011 took place in the evening rush hour.
The campaign aims to inform commuters about safe practices on railways, reminding drivers to take extra care on level crossings. Britain has the safest railway in Europe, and yet 500 near misses have been recorded on level crossings in the last five years involving cyclists, drivers and pedestrians. The incidents are most likely to take place between 7–9am and 4–6pm.
The campaign informs drivers that amber lights indicate that a train is approaching, and the dangers of attempting to beat the barriers, as well as minimising distractions such as phones or loud music.
The launch of the campaign comes as the British Transport Police (BTP) Operation Look launches its own level crossing safety initiative, passing out leaflets and travel card holders which carry safety advice.
Darren Cottrell, head of level crossing safety at Network Rail, says:
“Commuters want their journey to or from work to be as quick and easy as possible, and I understand they may find waiting at a level crossing an inconvenience especially after a hard day’s work. It is important that everyone understands that level crossing warnings are there to keep us all safe, so be vigilant and obey them – even if you’re in a hurry.
“Network Rail is investing more than £100m to improve level crossing safety across Britain, but we need motorists, cyclists and pedestrians to do their bit too. By paying attention to the warnings at level crossings and avoiding distractions we can all keep ourselves out of harm’s way.”
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