Crossing danger fears

British Transport Police  monitoring the Parbold level crossing
British Transport Police monitoring the Parbold level crossing

Transport police in Wigan are carrying out a crackdown on rail crossing misuse in a bid to cut down on an increasing number of accidents.

Over the next two weeks British Transport officers will be out and about visiting level crossings across the region to urge the public to do their level best to stay safe when using crossings.

In the latest phase of Operation Look, a fortnight of action which began last week, a level crossing mobile safety vehicle will be located at a number of crossings and officers and Network Rail staff will be handing out leaflets to educate people around the dangers of level.

This week staff have been stationed at the crossing at Mill Lane, Parbold, as part of the winter campaign.

While the majority of offences are committed by motorists, they also want to make sure pedestrians are aware of the dangers, too.

Insp Michelle Wedderburn said: “We’ll be stepping up our activity during the

next few weeks to ensure we speak to as many people as possible about using crossings safely.

“People have just got into the habit of taking risks at the crossing and are jumping red lights, and this has to stop.

“There is no excuse for jumping the lights at a level crossing and the consequences of doing so could be fatal.

“We are more interested in educating people and saving lives but we will also prosecute anyone who is caught jumping level crossing lights in the hope that this will make them think twice in future.”

Level crossing mobile safety vehicles are funded by Network Rail and operated by British Transport officers.

Each vehicle is equipped with CCTV facilities and ANPR (automatic number plate recognition) technology, and has access to the Police National Computer.

The vehicles form part of a wider effort to make people more aware of how to use level crossings safely and the dangers and consequences of misusing them.

For videos of crossing misuse visit https://www.youtube.com/user/btpuk