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Level crossing vans to monitor entire network

Ten more level crossing camera vans are being rolled out across the country this year. Network Rail made the announcement today to coincide with International Level Crossing Awareness Day today (June 7).

Just three of the Network Rail / British Transport Police vans have so far managed to catch 2,400 people inLondon, the south east andScotland. They have now been charged with breaking the law at level crossings.

Now, all routes will have at least one van, with London North East andAngliahaving three and two respectively.

The vans are still quite new but Martin Gallagher, head of level crossings for Network Rail, said: “The vans are just one part of a much wider effort to make people more aware of how to safely use level crossings and the dangers and consequences of misusing them. We don’t want to catch anyone breaking the law at a level crossing but those that do often put themselves and others at risk and can delay trains and incur cost to us and the taxpayer.

He added: “The van is there as a deterrent and people have told us they welcome its presence, but sadly sometimes it takes a fine or points on your licence to really get the message to hit home – better that than the worst outcome, which is being involved in a collision. We’re confident that as the vans become more widely known and seen, that they will help bring down the number of level crossing incidents and make level crossings safer.”

The vans, operated by BTP officers, are deployed at various level crossings across the routes where there are the highest levels of misuse and locations. Offences ranging from jumping the lights and driving through crossings as barriers come down to striking barriers, careless and dangerous driving and yellow box junction obstructions.

BTP Chief Superintendent (Territorial Policing) Miles Flood said: “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.”

Motorists have been responsible for the vast majority of offences spotted by the vans so far: 2,304, compared to just 148 pedestrians. 53% of offenders have been men, with 45-55 year olds receiving the most prosecutions, 28%.

The charges have varied between dangerous driving in the most serious cases, to careless driving and red traffic light offences under the Road Traffic Act.

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