Rail boss urges driving test change

People taking their driving test should be made to answer questions about level crossings, according to a rail chief.

Ian Croucher, Network Rail chief executive, said most accidents that occur on level crossing are as a result of driver error.

And he wants driving tests to include compulsory questions in a bid to reduce the worrying 2009 figures that show 3,242 incidents were recorded at level crossings.

The numbers show that 14 collisions took place between trains and vehicles, and there were 13 deaths in total at level crossings.

Across the UK, there were 140 near misses last year, the equivalent of three per week.

Network Rail said the inclusion of level crossing safety questions in the driving test would help stamp out "crazy driving behaviour".

Mr Coucher said: "Tragically some motorists lose their lives gambling at level crossings by running red lights or dodging around barriers.

"I'm confident that lives will be saved if motorists learn how to safely use level crossings from the day they pass their test. Our campaign is raising awareness of the very real dangers of running the risk but we think more can be done to change motorists' behaviour."

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