The number of driver-related incidents at level crossings in Britain is alarmingly high – about 46 a week.
Research by Populus on behalf of Network Rail shows a lack of knowledge among drivers may be to blame. About a third of UK drivers said they had never been taught how to use a level crossing, leaving them more likely to risk their lives and the lives of others.
Britain has the safest rail network in Europe but deliberately misusing level crossings, or becoming distracted when using them, can be lethal. In fact, six people have lost their lives in vehicles at level crossings in Britain in the past five years alone, with many more injured.
Remember this important safety information:
• ALWAYS follow instructions on signs and obey audible and visual warnings of approaching trains
• ALWAYS be prepared to stop and REMEMBER that there might be more than one train coming
• NEVER drive through red lights or around barriers, they are there to protect you
• If you are unsure how to cross safely, use the telephone (if one is provided) or find an alternative route
• NEVER drive onto a level crossing unless your exit is clear.
To help increase awareness of the dangers at level crossings, Network Rail has partnered with British Transport Police to remind drivers of the dangers of not following the safety instructions at a level crossing. The campaign focuses on all drivers, working with specific groups such as van and delivery drivers to raise awareness of what can happen if you ignore the warnings.