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World first hoped to reduce accidents and crossing misuse
June 9 was International Level Crossings Awareness Day, when around 40 countries had events to promote safety at level crossings. We held awareness days with the British Transport Police and train operators, leafleted around the country and launched an innovative feature for sat nav users.
Britain's motorists can now benefit from a world first in satellite navigation technology which we hope will reduce unsafe driver behaviour by warning motorists when they approach one of the level crossings around the country.
Developed by Garmin in association with Network Rail, it works in a similar way to the speed camera alerts that many people have on their sat navs, warning drivers with a cheery train whistle and an on-screen ‘X’ when they approach a level crossing.
We hope the new technology will encourage safer motoring and reduce the number of incidents which cause damage, disruption and a number of deaths each year.
The free download is available for Garmin's nüvi and nüLink sat navs.
We are also looking into developing an intelligent version where motorists can choose routes that avoid level crossings or alter the route to avoid a level crossing where the barriers are down if there is a quicker alternative route.
Network Rail director of operational services Dyan Crowther said: "Motorists that jump the lights or smash into barriers as they try and beat them coming down can cause great disruption and cost to the network, so we're always looking at new ways in which we can reduce the risk of incidents at level crossings."
Anthony Chmarny, Garmin head of communications said, "The development of this free level crossing application shows the ongoing commitment we have to ensure our sat nav customers have the very best travel information at the tip of their fingers. We believe this will help to save time, money and most importantly improve drivers’ safety during their journey."
Download the free level crossing alert from Garmin.
Read our guide to using level crossings safely.
The free download for Garmin nüvi and nüLink sat navs can be downloaded from their website:
Our level crossings guide explains what they look like and how to use them safely.
Level crossings guide
If a level crossing or any other part of the railway is causing a problem, or if you simply want more information, contact our National Helpline:
08457 11 41 41
If you see anyone misusing a level crossing, please call the British Transport Police on 0800 40 50 40 or the police on 999.