Video: Sleaford crossing users targeted in police crackdown

British Transport Police officers have been teaming up with Network Rail to crack down on dangerous misuse of level crossings.

The force were handing out leaflets on Thursday, as well as using state-of-the-art camera equipment to catch people flouting the law, at Sleaford East level crossing in Southgate.

Insp Andy Pickles of British Transport Police and level crossing champion Tina Hughes at Sleaford station.

Insp Andy Pickles of British Transport Police and level crossing champion Tina Hughes at Sleaford station.

It came as part of a week-long operation to clamp down on deliberate misuse of crossings by motorists, cyclists and pedestrians and educate people to use crossings 
safely.

Insp Andy Pickles of the British Transport Police said: “In the last year alone we have dealt with 1,300 people who have been deliberately neglectful in infringing regulations and ignoring warning lights.

“Four hundred of those have been prosecuted and taken to court, 360 have received fixed penalty notices and 600 been on driver awareness courses.”

He said the aim of the crack down was to educate people, not prosecute them.

Keeping an eye on the video cameras from inside the police van. EMN-150502-115000001

Keeping an eye on the video cameras from inside the police van. EMN-150502-115000001

“The message is when you are dealing with a level crossing whether you are driving, on foot or whatever, you have to have your wits about you,” he said.

Network Rail’s level crossing champion Tina Hughes was also at the crossing.

Ms Hughes, of Essex, lost her daughter Olivia Bazlinton, 14, when she was killed crossing the tracks to buy a ticket at Elsenham station near her home in Bishop Stortford.

Olivia’s friend Charlotte Thompson, 13, was also killed in the incident.

Ms Hughes said: “I know first hand how awful it is when people are hit by a train. It is devastating.

“In a car it can kill that driver but also can kill people on the train so it can be really catastrophic.”

Alistair Swift, crossing manager for Network Rail said Sleaford and other crossings in the area were often misused, on many occasions when people miss the warning lights and continue across the crossing.