Network Rail is urging parents in Doncaster to warn their children about the potential dangers of misusing level crossings, after shocking footage shows youths trying to lift one of the crossing barriers in Rossington just moments before a train passes.
The group were caught on camera at Rossington level crossing in March. Passenger and freight trains travel on the busy East Coast Main Line at speeds of up to 125mph, and the barriers are lowered to keep drivers, cyclists and pedestrians safe.
Trains cannot stop suddenly or swerve out of the way, and more than one train may pass before the barriers are raised. Misusing a level crossing can have life-changing, or even fatal, consequences.
Vicki Beadle, Operations Risk Advisor for Network Rail, said: “This footage from Rossington level crossing is extremely concerning and there could have been tragic consequences.
“The barriers are lowered for a reason and it’s never safe to interfere with them or hang around at a level crossing. It is crucial that people concentrate, always follow the rules and pay attention to the lights, barriers and warning signs at a crossing.”
Tony McGhin, British Transport Police inspector, said: “Level crossings are in place for a reason; when used properly they work safely and efficiently.
“Messing around with these mechanisms is irresponsible, stupid and incredibly dangerous. I cannot emphasise enough the potentially lethal consequences of acts like these.
“If you witness anyone misusing or interfering with level crossings please contact us immediately, either by texting 61016 or by calling 0800 405040. In an emergency always call 999.”
Network Rail is highlighting the top tips for using level crossings safely:
- Concentrate – it’s easy to get distracted, especially by music, phones and conversation.
- Stop, look and listen – always following signs and instructions.
- Check both ways before crossing – if there is a train coming, don’t cross.
- Understand the warnings (lights, barriers, alarms).
- Cross quickly, keeping children close and dogs on a lead.
People can also find out more about Network Rail’s national safety campaign, ‘Bossing the Crossing’ at: Bossing the crossing – Network Rail
Photo credit: Network Rail