Thursday 23 Nov 2017
Dangerous driving at level crossings in Suffolk more than halved following installation of safety cameras
The number of people running the risk at two level crossings in Suffolk has more than halved following the installation of safety cameras.
Network Rail has installed red light safety cameras at two crossings in the region as part of the company’s Railway Upgrade Plan, to make the crossings safer and to discourage motorists from deliberately misusing them by driving across when the lights are flashing or swerving around the barriers.
The cameras have been installed at:
- Westerfield Road, Westerfield
- A12 Main Road at Darsham
At Westerfield, which is used by 133 trains a day, there were a total of 69 instances of deliberate misuse during a four week period before the cameras were installed. There were five instances (92 percent reduction) during the four week period after installation.
At Darsham, which is used by 33 trains a day, there were a total of 167 instances of deliberate misuse during a four week period before the cameras were installed. There were 75 instances (55 percent reduction) during the four week period after installation.
Meliha Duymaz, Network Rail’s route managing director for Anglia, said: “We have installed these cameras to deter dangerous behaviour and it is encouraging to see that they have made such a difference. Jumping the red lights or swerving around the barriers is incredibly reckless and not only puts the driver at risk of serious injury or death but also endangers our passengers. Incidents like this can also damage the crossing and cause delays to train services, at a cost to the taxpayer. We will of course continue to monitor activity at these crossings in order to further improve safety.”
The camera is able to identify vehicles that fail to comply with the stop signals, in order to improve safety at road level crossings. The majority of offenders are sent a notice of intent to prosecute and given the option to pay a fine and receive points on their driving license, or to pay a fee and sit a level crossing focussed safety awareness course. More serious offences such as swerving round a barrier are issued to BTP with a view to processing for full prosecution.
These types of cameras were first introduced on Britain’s rail network in 2015, and have since proven to be extremely successful with driver non-compliance down by as much as 90% at some crossings.
Westerfield and Darsham level crossings are half barrier level crossings, which are triggered automatically by approaching trains. In addition to the barriers which descend, there are flashing warning lights and an audible ‘yodel’ alarm to alert road users and pedestrians that a train is approaching.
About Network Rail
We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.
Every day, there are more than 4.7 million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.
We are building a better railway for a better Britain.