Monday 8 Nov 2004

SAFETY IMPROVES AT LEVEL CROSSING BLACKSPOT

Region & Route:
Scotland
New figures released by Network Rail show a drop in motoring offences at Cornton level crossing in Stirling.  40 per cent fewer recordings were captured by the red light cameras between January and June 2004, compared to the same period last year.  The figures also highlight that 75 per cent of offences are committed by local residents. Despite the improvement, the cameras captured 58 motorists jumping the lights in the first half of this year. Network Rail managers will be visiting the crossing on Friday 12 November and will be joined by local MP, Ann McGuire and MSP, Sylvia Jackson, who are supporting this vital work.   A ‘thank you’ will be extended to the local community for helping to improve road and rail safety.  Drivers will be reminded to treat the red crossing light as a red traffic light and stop their vehicles.  Leaflets reminding motorists of their legal responsibilities and highlighting the dangers of driver misuse will be delivered to local residents. Network Rail’s Territory Health and Safety Manager for Scotland said:  “Level crossings are safe for both road and rail users if used properly.  Most of the problems are caused by drivers ignoring the rules. “Nearly a third of all train collisions in the UK are caused by motorists on level crossings, and the risk of fatality in a train/road vehicle collision is about 40-45 times greater than a conventional road traffic accident. It is imperative that tougher penalties are imposed in order to effectively deter offenders.   Often the minimum fines are given which doesn’t reflect the serious nature of these criminal acts.” Inspector John Clark of the British Transport Police said:  “We are delighted to see such a large reduction in offences at this level crossing.  These figures show that initiatives of this type do have an impact and that the message is finally getting through to drivers. However, we will not become complacent and will continue to drive home the importance of stopping at level crossings when the red light is operating ” The crossing is one of eight in Scotland fitted with cameras to detect motorists who fail to stop at the red light when a train is about to pass through.

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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.

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