It’s only a matter of time before there’s a serious smash at the Chettisham level crossing, comes the chilling warning from Network Rail.
Today the body responsible for managing railways issued a warning, blaming “selfish” drivers for endangering lives at the crossing on Lynn Road, Ely.
Cameras have caught motorists recklessly ignoring red lights, shooting across the crossing while the barriers are lowering.
The road speed limit is 60mph while trains pass the crossing at 75mph, meaning the consequences of a collision would be disastrous.
So worried are Network Rail about an imminent crash that its Anglia level crossing manager, John Priest, issued a stark warning today.
“This is selfish behaviour which not only puts safety of the driver at risk but also risks the lives of others.
“Level crossing barriers, warning lights and signals are there to help road users, pedestrians and railway users stay safe. Misusing crossings in this way, in order to save just a couple of minutes, can result in serious injury or death.”
British Transport Police (BTP) Inspector Stephen Webster said impatient motorists weren’t only playing Russian roulette with their lives but also risking the lives of rail passengers.
“I can’t stress enough, don’t run the risk. Always stop for a red light, those couple of minutes that you have to wait could save your life.”
On the Anglia route BTP are using CCTV, fixed cameras and mobile safety vehicles to monitor crossings as well as a special route crime tasking team.
“This has led to a high number of prosecutions in the last year resulting in motorists losing their licences and even going to jail.”
The Chettisham crossing has full barriers, warning lights and alarms to warn traffic that a train is approaching.
Drivers should understand the warnings and always stop if they activate unless it’s unsafe to do so.
By law they have to remain stationary until all the warnings clear, checking it’s safe to exit before driving across.
More information about staying safe at level crossings is available at www.networkrail.co.uk/levelcrossings