Thousands advised on safety during week of action on crossings

Lancaster Railway Station. Stock Picture.
Lancaster Railway Station. Stock Picture.

Thousands of motorists, cyclists and pedestrians have been given safety advice as part of a British Transport Police initiative to tackle crossing misuse.

Officers visited more than 300 crossings as part of Operation Look.

During the week, 38 motorists were sent Notices of Impending Prosecution for misuse of level crossings.

Many more drivers were warned about their behaviour, with officers, volunteers and colleagues from Network Rail handing out thousands of leaflets on safe crossing use.

BTP officers also visited schools, colleges and businesses to talk to people about the dangers of misusing crossings.

Inspector Becky Warren said: “While we are committed to enforcement, the main purpose of this week of action was education.

“Many of the people we spoke to during Operation Look were simply not aware of the dangers their actions posed to their safety as well as that of others.”

Tina Hughes MBE, Network Rail’s Level Crossing User Champion, said: “It is hard to imagine why anyone would deliberately go through red lights or barriers coming down at level crossings.

“We need to make a concerted effort to change people’s attitudes and perceptions about crossings, and initiatives like Operation Look play a vital part in that process.”

Operation Look took place between September 29 and October 5.

Network Rail is committed to closing crossings where possible – 891 have been closed in the last four years.

However, where crossings cannot be replaced it is vital that people use them properly.

BTP will continue to monitor safety at crossings, with another week of action planned for February 2015.