Police warning after drivers ignore signals and crash into level crossing barriers at Colthrop – Berkshire
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British Transport Police (BTP) is warning drivers and pedestrians of the consequences of misusing level crossings after several incidents have been recorded at Colthrop, Thatcham.
Despite the imminent danger, the crossing has seen drivers and pedestrians ignoring warning signals resulting in two vehicles striking the barriers since January.
Cameras have recently been installed to capture misuse and pursue prosecution against any offenders. Officers are also patrolling the location and speaking to crossing-users to educate them on the dangers of misuse.
BTP Embedded Inspector Darren Burridge said: “Level crossings should be treated with respect. Safety procedures are there for a reason – by trying to beat the system you are not only causing thousands of pounds of damage and delays for passengers, but you are also risking your life.
“Passenger and freight services can travel up to 100mph on this line. Fortunately, the recent incidents have been near-misses, however, it could have been a very different story.
“Have a little patience and wait until it’s safe to cross - it really isn't worth risking your life in order to save a few minutes.”
Steve Melanophy, project lead for route crime at Network Rail said: “The recent incidents of level crossing misuse at Colthrop crossing are incredibly concerning. The warning signals, barriers and lights are there for your safety.
“Trains can’t stop quickly, even when the emergency brake is applied, so deliberate misuse could easily result in life-changing injuries or worse, loss of life.
“Together with British Transport Police we are urging people not to trespass and to use level crossings responsibly – it’s not worth risking your life. We’ll continue to work with our BTP colleagues to warn people of the dangers of level crossing misuse, educate them about the consequences and hopefully keep everyone safe.”