Thursday 23 Nov 2017
Huge reduction in dangerous driving at Hertfordshire level crossing following installation of safety cameras
The number of people running the risk at Wharf Road level crossing in Broxbourne has reduced by over 90 per cent following the installation of safety cameras.
Red light safety cameras were installed by Network Rail at the crossing as part of the company’s Railway Upgrade Plan, to make it safer and to discourage motorists from deliberately misusing it by driving across when the lights are flashing or swerving around the barriers.
At the crossing which sees 378 trains a day travelling at up to 80mph, there were a total of 23 instances of deliberate misuse during a four week period before the cameras were installed. This reduced to two instances (91 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 this crossing 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.
Wharf Road level crossing is a half barrier level crossing which is 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
Network Rail owns, manages and develops Britain's railway - the 20,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations (the largest of which we also run). In partnership with train operators we help people take more than 1.65bn journeys by rail every year and move hundreds of millions of tonnes of freight, saving almost 8m lorry journeys. We employ 38,000 people across Britain and work round-the-clock, each and every day, to provide a safe, reliable railway.
About the Railway Upgrade Plan
The Railway Upgrade Plan is Network Rail's investment plan for Britain's railways. It makes up two-thirds of Network Rail's £40bn spending priorities for the five years to 2019 and represents the biggest sustained programme of rail modernisation since the Victoria era. It is designed to provide more capacity, relieve crowding and respond to the tremendous growth Britain's railways continue to experience; passenger numbers have doubled in the past 20 years and are set to double again over the next 25 years - so we need to continue to invest in building a bigger, better railway. For passengers, that means:
- longer, faster more frequent trains;
- better, more reliable infrastructure; and
- better facilities for passengers, especially at stations.