Community safety staff from Network Rail and BTP officers handed out thousands of leaflets to drivers and pedestrians at crossings the length and breadth of the country to reinforce the message that risking your own life and the lives of others to save a few seconds is just not worth it.
Chief Superintendent (Territorial Policing) Miles Flood of British Transport Police wrote:Every driver or pedestrian officers interacted with during International Level Crossing Awareness Day were supportive of our joint activities. Sadly, some drivers think it is clever to continue to misuse level crossings and be assured that anyone detected committing an offence will face prosecution.
International Level Crossing Awareness Day is now an extremely important date in our calendar and officers remain committed to not only detecting offenders but working closely with Network Rail to re-iterate the all-important safety message which affects driver behaviour. Officers were also on hand at crossings all the country to stop and report any driver who chose not to head safety advice and put themselves and other rail users in danger by failing to comply with traffic signals.
Martin Gallagher, Network Rail’s head of level crossings wrote:ILCAD provided us with yet another opportunity to talk directly to those who use our level crossings every day, about how to use them safely, to listen to any concerns and let them know what we are doing to improve safety and reduce risk at crossings all over Britain.
Network Rail also announced the roll-out of additional 10 CCTV equipped camera vans to help deter motorists and pedestrians from taking a risk at crossings. It has been confirmed that all routes will have at least one van with London North East and Anglia, having three and two respectively.
Chief Superintendent Flood wrote:The level crossings vans in use are already proving their worth. They are a useful additional tool for our officers in deterring as well as detecting motorists who continue to flout the law and misuse level crossings to save what may be only a few seconds and I welcome Network Rail’s further investment.
International Level Crossing Awareness Day campaigns to raise awareness among road users and pedestrians of the risks at level crossings and to change their behaviour.
In Scotland officers attended Ardrossan, Stevenston, Cornton, Cleghorn, Dingwall, Kingsknowe, Kirknewton, Halbeath, Greenfoot and Broughty Ferry level crossings. Three drivers – two at Stevenston and one at Cleghorn - will be reported for road traffic offences.
In the North East safety leaflets were handed out at Nunthorpe in Middlesbrough, Norton East in Stockton, Selby West, Hull Walton Street, Little Bowden in Market Harborough and Oakham in Leicester crossings.
In the West Midlands, Langley Green in Oldbury and Bloxwich crossings near Walsall, were visited. A male driver will be reported for failing to conform to the signals at Langley Green.
St Fagans, Pencoed and Llanelli crossings in South Wales each saw a high-visibility operation and in North Wales, Wem and Porthmadog crossings were the subject of similar initiatives.
Officers visited Red Cow crossing in Exeter, in the South West, and also attended the Royal Cornwall Show, with representatives from Network Rail, to promote the safe use of crossings.
One driver – at Leasowe crossing in the Wirrall – was reported for failing to conform with a traffic signal. Other crossings in the North West visited included Navigation Road in Altrincham, Smithy Bridge near Rochdale and Birkdale near Southport.
Nine people were detected contravening road traffic offences and one person was caught trespassing at Mitcham Eastfields level crossing in the London Borough of Merton. One driver was detected for a road traffic offence at Feltham crossing, Hounslow, and three people will be reported for trespassing.
In the Suffolk area officers charged a driver an offence at Oulton Broad North crossing.
Another driver was charged for failing to comply with a signal at Littleport, Cambridgeshire, and other awareness drives took place at Sandhill and Queen Arderlaide, Acton and Bollo Lane crossings in Ealing and Shiplake in Oxfordshire.