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Level crossing camera vans for Thames Valley

New camera technology has been introduced at Thames Valley level crossings to change motorists’ behaviour and avoid disruption.

Network Rail has funded purpose-built police vans with nine cameras using number plate recognition technology to catch drivers who try to jump lights or drive around barriers at level crossings.

British Transport Police (BTP) officers will operate the vans and have access to all systems needed to process prosecutions instantly.

Another 12 vans are being deployed across the country to increase safety at level crossings and avoid delays and damage that rule-breaking can cause.

Patrick Hallgate, Network Rail route managing director, said: “Jumping the lights and ignoring warning signs is sadly a sight we see all too often, and can result in tragic outcomes. Most people who misuse level crossings know that they’re breaking the law, but that doesn’t seem to stop them.

“The new camera van is a strong deterrent for anyone thinking about breaking the law at a level crossing. With the latest technology on board, it means the police can prosecute the small minority who insist on flouting the rules, even in the presence of a marked police van.”

Sergeant Dominique Ioannou, based at BTP’s Reading office, said: “The railway safety camera partnership vehicles currently in use across the country provide an extra tool for offers to deter criminal behaviour at crossings, which can often put lives on the line.

“The BTP marked vehicle allows officers to target level crossings anywhere in the region and to respond swiftly when misuse is reported by rail staff or members of the public. Working closely in partnership with Network Rail, we have been able to make huge advances in influencing driver behaviour and making them aware of the dangers associated with risking lives at level crossings.

“Education is key to everything we do around level crossings. By informing people of the potential dangers of misusing crossings, and how to use them safely, we aim to reduce incidents at those sites targeted. Our officers will be out in force at crossings with the van in the area and will continue to use these opportunities to drive home the message that level crossing misuse is unacceptable.”

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at [email protected]


Mikeyb   07/12/2012 at 20:43

At crossings controlled by half-barriers, could one long-term solution be to install "rising kerbs"/"road blockers" in the other lane (i.e. the exit from the crossing) adjacent to the barrier, which would stop impatient motorists dodging around the barrier in a stupid effort to beat an oncoming train. Any vehicle caught on the crossing when the barrier comes down would still be able to escape across the installation.

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