Drivers risk death at rail crossing

DANGEROUS drivers who ignore railway warning lights are risking death just to get to work on time, transport police warned today.Rather than waiting for a green light and crossing safely, reckless motorists are putting their lives in danger by driving around the barriers at the railway crossing at Westerfield.

DANGEROUS drivers who ignore railway warning lights are risking death just to get to work on time, transport police warned today.

Rather than waiting for a green light and crossing safely, reckless motorists are putting their lives in danger by driving around the barriers at the railway crossing at Westerfield.

Worried motorist Dave Cass, of Irlam Road, Ipswich, thinks people are chancing death by collision with a train in a perilous bid to shave time off their race to work and transport police have backed his warning.

Mr Cass said: “It's stupid really. People are risking their lives just to get to work a couple of minutes earlier.

“I take that route every day as it's the fastest way for me but I'd rather be late than not get there at all.”

Mr Cass, 55, was so shocked by the irresponsible behaviour of a handful of motorists steering around the safety barriers that he called the police.

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He was on his way to work in Otley at about 7.55am on Monday when the barriers lowered at the level crossing outside the Westerfield Railway pub.

He then saw three vehicles, including a business van, drive around the barriers and through the crossing, ignoring the red lights.

Transport police have condemned the irresponsible behaviour of the drivers and warned they could potentially kill themselves or others if their vehicle is hit by an oncoming train.

Inspector Bob Munn of British Transport Police said: “Anyone who is caught driving through the crossing when the red light is on will be prosecuted for dangerous driving.

“The red lights at the crossing are just like any other red lights so they mean drivers must stop. The crossings are there for a reason and are only safe if they are being used properly.

“Trains can't stop very quickly so there is a risk of being seriously injured or killed if people ignore them and drive through anyway.”

If you see anyone ignoring warning lights at train crossings report them to Suffolk Police on 01473 613500.