Level crossing awareness day25 Jun 2009

Commenting on a European day of action to highlight the dangers of level crossings, Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation said:

“Running red lights at level crossings is potentially fatal. When a car is in collision with a train weighing hundreds of tonnes, travelling at speeds of up to 100mph or so, it is clear who is going to come off worst.”

“The worrying thing is not just the number of fatalities (15 last year in Britain), but how many near misses there are. The death toll could easily be much higher.”

“The RAC Foundation recognises Network Rail’s efforts to close level crossings where appropriate, but with 7,600 of them in the UK, the risk is never going to be eradicated, which is why we support any attempt to educate the public on how to use crossings safely.”

“While the problem is serious in this country, it is even worse on the continent, not least in Germany and France. British drivers heading for Europe this summer on holiday should be in no doubt about the dangers level crossings can pose if warnings are ignored.”

Last year, 15 people lost their lives in Britain with more than 3,400 incidents of misuse