More level crossing madness – Tuesday May 4 2010.
We recently had the scarcely credible incident in the UK where a lorry driver knowingly tried to barge through level crossing barriers as they were actually descending - and ended up being fined just £170 with three penalty points!
The train driver managed to stop, averting a potentially fatal crash. The fact that the driver was so leniently dealt with by a barmy court and legal system tells you all you need to know about why motorists treat level crossing with such contempt. Even if they are caught – as they always are, with CCTV – they can safely assume they’ll pretty much get away with their potentially lethal behaviour.. If they live, that is. How is it that carrying a knife, say, is regarded (rightly) as a very serious offence whereas taking a decision to gamble with maybe hundreds of lives in a road vehicle at as level crossing is so casually shrugged off?
In this instance I agree 100% with NR CEO Iain Coucher that “…judicial penalties need to reflect the seriousness of these crimes…” A mandatory £5,000 fine and a five-year driving ban. Or even a short sharp shock behind bars, might get their attention to in stopping such callous disregard. It’d certainly be more effective than a £170 fine.
Here’s the full story from RAIL 643, which is in the shops now.
But there are limits. No fine or driving ban, or even imprisonment, can take account of sheer stupidity! Imagine trying to explain this one to your car insurance company, when you submit the claim. Because if you’re daft enough to do this, you’re probably daft enough to submit a claim for the damage, too! This was shot on the Glenbrook Vintage Railway, in New Zealand.
My thanks to Steam Railway’s Gary Boyd-Hope for pointing me in the direction of this gobsmackingly stupid video.
As I've pointed out before here (courtesy of Clive Fletcher Wood) the Aussies have an altogether tougher and more graphic approach: