Crossings need respect from motorists

LEVEL crossings have been part of the landscape of Britain for almost 200 years since the first railway lines crossed unmade roads.If proper safety rules are followed and the crossings are properly maintained then they should be perfectly safe.

LEVEL crossings have been part of the landscape of Britain for almost 200 years since the first railway lines crossed unmade roads.

If proper safety rules are followed and the crossings are properly maintained then they should be perfectly safe.

However today's tragedy on the main line between London and East Anglia shows just how dangerous they can be if something goes wrong.

At present there is no clear indication of why the car was on the crossing as the express train approached at nearly 100mph.

Early tests suggest that the lights on the level crossing were operating at the time of the crash, so much of the investigation is likely to focus on why the car was on the crossing at that time.

Given the speed of the train, it is unlikely the car was on the crossing for long because that would have caused the driver to slam on the brakes before the impact.

Most Read

Whatever the cause of the accident, one lesson is clear. Level crossings must be treated with respect and warnings obeyed.

If the lights are flashing motorists and pedestrians must stay off the crossing. Trains are much heavier than anything else that will use the crossing.

And of course any accident on a crossing can cause a serious rail crash which can have devastating consequences when the train is travelling fast.

Today's tragedy is a graphic demonstration of the dangers that can still lurk on the rail system. Whatever happened today, we all need to take care on level crossings.

ANYONE who has driven behind lorries on dual carriageways know how frustrating it can be when they try to overtake each other.

It can take miles for an articulated lorry travelling at 59mph to overtake another one travelling at 58mph - and that causes frustration for all the motorists behind it.

Lorries are banned from the inside of three-lane roads, but until now there has been no ban on them overtaking on a two-lane road.

There would inevitably be problems with any such ban - how would lorries cope if they came across at tractor and trailer if they could not overtake?

But there does need to be a new look at how lorries behave on the road, to try to avoid the frustration they can cause and the danger other drivers might be tempted to put themselves in.

SATURDAY'S match against Queens Park Rangers at Portman Road is a genuine six-pointer.

Victory over the west Londoners will put clear blue water between Ipswich and the clubs in the relegation zone.

Defeat will leave the club very deep in the relegation mire.

Town's win at Loftus Road back in September gave the team a much-needed kick-start after a dreadful opening to the season.

A repeat on Saturday would help banish fears of the drop. And the fans have a vital role in roaring the team on when they really need the support.