Drivers are being asked to pay more attention after there were 13 cases of people going around closing barriers and running the flashing lights at East Farleigh level crossing in Kent during June and July.
The appeal has been launched by Network Rail and Southeastern after the events on the line between Maidstone and Paddock Wood. Four events occurred in just four days. Vehicle registration details have been taken and passed onto the police for further action.
The crossing was upgraded in 2019 from the manual crossing gates featured in the picture. Fitted with full barriers and flashing lights, the crossing is on the road which links the main A26 Tonbridge Road with East Farleigh bridge, and is controlled from a nearby signalbox by a signaller.
Network Rail’s route director for Kent, Fiona Taylor, said: “I can’t believe I’ve got to say this, but the flashing red lights are there for a reason, safety. There’s no excuse for not paying attention to them and the fact that some drivers are even swerving round closing barriers – when a train is on its way – is just astonishing.
“They’re not only putting themselves and others at risk but also getting a fine and points on their licences.”
British Transport Police Inspector Jonathan Pine, who is embedded in Network Rail’s crime team in Kent and Sussex, said: “We take these incidents very seriously and we will prosecute anyone who runs through our level crossing lights. There are no circumstances where it is safe to go past flashing red lights and anyone who has dealt with the aftermath of an accident on a level crossing knows how terrible the results will be.”
Southeastern and Network Rail joint head of performance, Dan Tall, said: “We are appealing to car and lorry drivers to respect the red lights at level crossings, they are there for a reason – to protect drivers and to protect our railway colleagues. This also has a serious knock-on effect for our passengers as we are seeing trains being delayed as a result of this dangerous behaviour.”
In May, Network Rail released video footage of people misusing a level crossing in Bicester
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