Rail Crossing Law-Breakers get a shock during crackdown

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Drivers and pedestrians who put their lives at risk by dodging the barriers and ignoring the warning lights at Enfield Lock level crossing got a nasty surprise during a safety crackdown. User of the crossing were named and shamed by Network Rail earlier this year as the worst behaved in the capital, with a dozen recorded incidents of misuse in 2008 including two near misses involving pedestrians and passing trains. However, the real level of misuse is thought to be much higher.

– Impatient mother puts child at risk
– 13 car drivers warned by police in less than four hours
– Four £50 fines dished out to law-breaking pedestrians

Network Rail and British Transport Police officers were at the crossing on the morning of Wednesday 28 October, handing out leaflets and speaking to drivers and pedestrians about the dangers of misusing level crossings – and also catching out any unsuspecting crossing users who deliberately flouted the law.

Between 7.30am and 11am alone, 13 drivers were given official warnings by the BTP about their conduct at the crossing and will face a court appearance if caught again. Four pedestrians were given £50 fixed penalty notices, including one woman who put herself and her child at risk when she tried to cross after the barriers began to close, ignoring the warning lights and siren. Her pushchair had to be lifted over the barriers to safety by BTP officers.

Anne-Marie Batson, Network Rail community safety manager, said: “Exercises like this are absolutely vital to get the message through to drivers and pedestrians that running the risk at level crossings is not only dangerous, it carries tough penalties too.”

BTP Acting Sergeant Scott Darrah, who led the enforcement, said: “The woman concerned was extremely lucky to escape with her life. Incidents such as these can often end in tragedy, which is why we continue to work in an effective partnership with Network Rail.”

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