Warning after level crossing incident

FRESH warnings have been given to motorists today after a car driver was seen turning round on a level crossing on the Felixstowe-Ipswich rail line.

FRESH warnings have been given to motorists today after a car driver was seen turning round on a level crossing on the Felixstowe-Ipswich rail line.

The small blue car was seen apparently doing a three-point turn at Morston Hall near Trimley St Martin after probably taking a wrong turning down the lane, a no through road.

Moments later a passenger train came down the line.

The crossing is operated by warning lights and electric barriers.

One person who saw the incident on Monday afternoon said: “I couldn't believe what I was seeing - especially as the dangers of level crossings have been in the news this week with the authorities warning people to be careful.”

Network Rail says the number of people breaking the law at level crossings, which are safe if used properly, is at a five year high.

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Chief executive Iain Coucher said: “The toughest consequence of breaking the law at a level crossing is to lose your life - thankfully that doesn't happen very often.

“But every week we see people who ignore warning signs and lights or drive round barriers at level crossings just to save a few minutes.

“This behaviour has the potential for massive damage, disruption and death. We think that the judiciary penalties received need to reflect the seriousness of these crimes, and are calling on the judiciary to consider all these factors when handing down sentences.”

Last year, there were more than 3,400 incidents of misuse at level crossings. On average, more than three motorists a week were involved in a near miss with a train because they ignored warning signs and lights or weaved round barriers.

There were 20 collisions between trains and motor vehicles for those that didn't beat the lights.

Should courts be tougher on people who misuse level crossings? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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