UK Drivers Risking Their Lives at Level Crossing Says New Report

Thu 4th Oct 2018

A major new report has revealed that one in seven drivers admits they wouldn’t wait for the barrier or gate to open at a level crossing before driving their vehicle over.

While the UK has safest rail network in Europe, lives are still being put at risk due to a lack of knowledge on how to use a level crossing.

Six people have lost their lives in the last five years at level crossings and with 46 incidents per week across the country, many more people are being hurt or injured.

The study, published by Populus on behalf of Network rail reveals the top three reasons for driving dangerously over a level crossing, with almost half blaming passenger distraction, a third jumped the crossing due to the fear of being late, with exams and hospital appointments also given as excuses.

Allan Spence, head of public and passenger safety at Network Rail, said: “It’s clear that there is a lack of knowledge around how dangerous railway crossings can be. We are seeing drivers take risks at level crossings every day - putting themselves and others in danger. Nothing is worth risking your life over, just to save a few minutes of time.”

“We are investing more than £100m to improve level crossing safety across Britain as part of the Railway Upgrade Plan, but we also need drivers to obey the law at level crossings. By staying behind the barrier until it is safe to cross and paying attention to the warnings at level crossings, we can all keep ourselves and those in our vehicles out of harm’s way.”

There are estimated to be in the region of 3,800 public and private road crossings of the UK’s 20,000 miles of track.