Britain’s railway is one of the safest in the world – but if people deliberately misuse level crossing or become distracted when using them level crossings can be lethal.
It can be frustrating having to wait at level crossings, but they’re activated for the shortest time possible.
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.
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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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 soon after a driver died at the crossing 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.