9+ times people risked their lives at level crossings

Thanks to level crossings, Britain’s railway is one of the safest in the world – but if people deliberately abuse them or become distracted level crossings can be lethal.

It can be frustrating having to wait at level crossings, but they’re activated for the shortest time possible. They protect you from one of the busiest railways in the world.

How to use level crossings safely

Level crossings are life-savers when used properly. Sadly, too many people get into danger – they don’t stay alert, or they deliberately risk their lives and the lives of others by ignoring the safety warnings. That’s why we’re closing level crossings where we can, or upgrading them to make them safer if that’s not possible.

The videos below show why it’s so important to stay alert and pay attention to warning lights and signs at level crossings – please stay safe.

Our level crossing safety campaigns

  1. New Year’s Eve dash

 

This couple don’t just endanger their own lives but also a young child as they clamber over six-foot-high locked crossing gates in Seamer, North Yorkshire, on New Year’s Eve.

They seem to be running late for the train. Trapped inside the crossing, they repeat the stunt on the opposite gate before running up to the platform – only to miss the train anyway.

 

 

  1. Mayhem on a moped

 

These risky drivers in Greater Manchester deliberately ignored the flashing warning lights and a closing safety barrier knocked them off their bike.

 

  1. Dangerous driver

 

In this terrifying footage from 2013 a car swerves from side to side as it speeds up to the crossing – narrowly avoiding knocking over a pedestrian and even more narrowly avoiding being hit by a train.

The busy Ducketts crossing in Pudsey sits on the line between Leeds and Bradford Interchange which sees around 127 trains per day travelling at speeds of up to 60mph.

 

  1. Unbelievable near miss

 

At Ducketts crossing in the same year, these girls stop to chat and play on their phones in the middle of the railway with the crossing gates closed and a train speeding towards them – with little concern for their own safety.

 

  1. Running a risk

 

 

It’s Seamer in North Yorkshire again. Look closely in the top-left corner and you’ll see a woman running across the tracks as a train approaches.

A trip or a stumble while trying to run across is all it would take, and the train driver wouldn’t have enough time to stop. Stay safe and wait – don’t risk your life.

 

  1. In danger of death

 

People lie on the tracks, walk along rails and take photos at Sittingbourne in Kent – ignoring the fact that a train could kill them at any moment.

Stay off the tracks – only cross the railway when you have to and when it is safe.

 

  1. Train driver’s view

 

When a cyclist approaches a level crossing, they should dismount their bike and check that no trains are coming from both directions before they cross.

Seen from the driver’s cab in this video, this cyclist at Ducketts crossing is incredibly lucky to be alive.

 

  1. Giving chase

 

A man dressed as Father Christmas ignores barriers and warning lights to rush into the path of a train last December, fleeing another man who also risks his life at the level crossing in Chiswick, west London.

If you’ve been drinking, keep a clear head at level crossings

 

  1. Recent fatality

 

This footage from Marston in Bedfordshire shows multiple times people were nearly killed by a train when walking, driving, running and taking their dog over the railway.

The filming captured these incidents in March this year, soon after a driver died at the crossing in January when their car was hit by a train travelling between Bletchley and Bedford.

It doesn’t take much to risk your life, so please be careful when crossing the railway.

How to use level crossings safely as a pedestrian, driver, cyclist and horse rider

What happens when you deliberately abuse level crossings

 

Did you know?

In the last five years there have been more than 2,000 incidents on level crossings involving young people, often distracted by their phone or friends. Find out more

 

We cannot stress enough the danger cyclists, pedestrians and motorists place themselves in when they don’t use the crossing safely. People need to realise how a split-second decision to ignore safety procedures can have life-changing consequences, not only for themselves, but also for their family and friends. These type of incidents also affect train drivers and railway workers, who have to deal with the aftermath.

Vicki Beadle, community safety manager at Network Rail

Find out more

Railway safety campaigns