Stop, look and listen, look left and right at pedestrian crossings.

Whilst there is a lot of controversy around level crossings and pedestrian crossings on Railways, we (KITE Projects) stand firmly by Network Rail’s side. DO NOT misuse a crossing, no matter how much of a rush you are in, it just is not worth risking your life. It might seem annoying when you are on a jog to have to stop it to wait for a train but waiting two minutes for a train to go past is nothing compared to what could happen if you are impatient. If you put it into the perspective that if an emergency vehicle can wait and will wait, especially an ambulance which could have a sick patient on board or could be on the way to one. If they can wait so, can you. There are many consequences of deliberately misusing a level crossing which are as follows:

  • Trains travel at up to 125mph and cannot stop quickly. You are unlikely to survive a collision.

  • The turbulence created by trains can drag you under their wheels if you are too close to the tracks.

  • Deliberate misuse of a level crossing is a criminal offence. You could be taken to court and face a £1000 fine. The most serious offences can result in a prison sentence.

 

In 2021 published statistics from the "Rail Regulator show 342 people were nearly hit but oncoming trains. This is the highest level if near misses with pedestrians at level crossings since records began in 2002/2003. 48 Near misses with road vehicles at level crossings were recorded. This is the lowest recorded since 2002/2003."

 

Network Rail have produced many articles and even have pages on their website giving clear instructions on how to safely use a level of crossing as a pedestrian some of which are below:

As pedestrians we need to:

  • Concentrate – it’s easy to get distracted, especially by phones, music and conversation.

  • Stop, look and listen. Follow signs and instructions.

  • Check both ways before crossing – if there is a train coming, don’t cross.

  • Understand the warnings (lights, barriers, alarms). 

  • Cross quickly, keeping children close and dogs on a lead.

 

While it might be tempting to run after your dog that has escaped your grip and run off in the direction of the oncoming train(s) DO NOT run after it to try and rescue it. Don’t risk your life to save your dogs it might be heart-breaking at the thought of losing your dog but actually dogs are a lot nimbler and quicker than most of us humans and are more likely to cross the rails and escape the train. While our deepest sympathies go to the family of the woman in the below articles. Don’t follow in her footsteps (in a literal sense and metaphorical sense).

https://metro.co.uk/2010/06/24/dog-dragged-walker-into-the-path-of-70mph-train-413462/

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10623047/Woman-killed-train-gone-tracks-rescue-dog.html

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KITEStep - Level crossing