Shocking CCTV compilation of Worcestershire level crossing misuse released

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Dog walkers sitting their pets on the tracks for photos, youths doing one-armed push ups and parents letting toddlers play on live railway lines, is just some of the incredibly dangerous behaviour caught on covert cameras this year at footpath level crossings in Worcestershire.

Today (Monday 14 August) as a safety warning to others, Network Rail has released a compilation of CCTV footage showing people risking their lives at footpath level crossings.

Shockingly, the six different incidents included in the video release are just a handful of examples of dangerous behaviour from across the region.

Nearly 50 cases of misuse have been either reported by train drivers or caught on hidden cameras in Worcestershire and the West Midlands so far in 2023.

In order the six clips show:

  • 4 April 2023 – loud music playing while a teenager does one-armed press ups in the middle of a crossing.
  • 14 March 2023 – a horn sounding as two dog walkers rush across 8 seconds before a high-speed train passes.
  • 1 April 2023 – a dog walker encouraging two dogs to sit on the tracks while an onlooker takes a photo of them.
  • 18 May 2023 – a primary school age boy on a scooter rushing over the crossing in front of an oncoming train which arrives 7 seconds later.
  • 3 April 2023 – a man with two little girls using the rails to play on pointing out the ‘pretty hills’ in the distance to them. They were caught on camera on the tracks for over a minute and a half.
  • 18 March 2023 – two boys placing ballast stones on the track so they are run over by trains.

Alexandra France, Network Rail Level crossing safety manager, said: “In so many of the incidents filmed, the difference of just a few seconds could have led to tragedy for those involved. I can’t downplay the danger they were in – with serious injury or worse a huge possibility.

“No matter how well you think you know a crossing, all users must obey the rules around using level crossings every time they use it. It just really isn’t worth the risk.”

Network Rail level crossing safety teams are now visiting the problem crossings to directly warn people of the dangers on the railway.

During the visits they will hand out leaflets and explain to passers by that people using footpath level crossings should:

  • Concentrate – it’s easy to get distracted, especially by phones, music and conversation.
  • Stop, look and listen. Follow signs and instructions.
  • Check both ways before crossing – if there is a train coming, don’t cross.
  • Understand the warnings (lights, barriers, alarms). Visit level crossings for pedestrians to find out more.
  • Cross quickly, keeping children close and dogs on a lead.

For more information and resources on how to use all types of level crossings safely, visit www.networkrail.co.uk/level-crossing-safety/

Image credit: Network Rail

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