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    More near-misses at level crossings


    by ODN

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    The number of motorists involved in near-misses at level crossings increased by 15 per cent in 2010, Network Rail has revealed.

    The company said there were 161 near-misses between trains and road vehicles last year compared with 140 in 2009.

    Network Rail also said there were 297 near-misses between pedestrians and trains in 2010.

    There were a further 768 incidents reported where pedestrians crossed when it was unsafe to do so, and a further 748 road vehicles crossing when unsafe.

    However, collisions between road vehicles and trains fell from 14 in 2009 to seven last year, and deaths at level crossings fell from 13 to four.

    Overall, there were 3,446 recorded incidents of level crossing misuse across Britain's national railway network last year compared with 3,244 in 2009.

    Robin Gisby, Network Rail's director of operations and customer services, said: "Too many motorists continue to break the law by jumping the lights or swerving around barriers at level crossings. Hundreds of pedestrians are also risking their lives just trying to save a few seconds - it's just not worth it.

    "While deaths and injuries are thankfully few, these actions by those who are either impatient or ignorant of the law cause great cost, delay and disruption to both rail and road passengers across Britain."