Stay safe at level crossings

Posted on May 16th, 2014 by James Luckhurst

Level Crossing for driversA new guide to help motorists safely use level crossings has been launched by Network Rail. Covering the potential dangers, and stressing the importance of never making assumptions before attempting to cross the railway track, the guide provides a useful reminder of the steps to take when approaching and using a level crossing.

Designed to promote best practice, the guide warns motorists of the dangers of taking risks at level crossing and reminds them to ensure that their exit is clear before driving onto the crossing to avoid the possibility of being on the tracks when the crossing begins its closure sequence, which can cause delays to both trains and road traffic. Most importantly, it reminds motorists that they must never assume that there is only one train coming or use previous experience to guess when a train might come.

Darren Furness, head of level crossings for Network Rail said: “Britain has one of the safest railways in Europe but level crossings remain a risk. Motorists face their own unique risks; the temptation to jump lights or race around barriers or to drive onto the crossing without making sure that there is enough space to safely exit it all put lives at risk.

“We are investing £100 million in the next five years to upgrade and improve crossings across the country but we also want to help everyone who uses a level crossing have the knowledge they need so that they can approach a level crossing with confidence, knowing that they have taken every precaution necessary to get to the other side safely.”

The guide is available on the Network Rail website – in both interactive form and as downloadable PDF. It has been produced in partnership with the Office of Rail Regulation and the Heritage Railway Association. Other guides targeted at pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders have also been produced.