Fifth of young people ‘would ignore level crossing lights’

Fifth of young people ‘would ignore level crossing lights’
A new survey has uncovered some shocking findings about young people’s attitudes to safety on level crossings.

Despite over 30 fatalities on UK level crossings in the past five years, just 36% of 18-24 year olds believe that going onto railway tracks is “extremely dangerous”.

Even more worryingly, the survey found that 22% of young people would jump warning lights at a level crossing if they were in a hurry.

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The research, commissioned by Network Rail, comes amid increasing concern over safety at Britain’s 6,000 level crossings.

Last year saw a 12% increase in incidents at crossings – from accidents and near-misses to deliberate trespassing.

RAC spokesman Simon Williams warned back in 2015 that “too many lives are still being lost as a result of accidents at level crossings”.

Network Rail is investing over £100 million in improvements to level crossing safety, but wants users to do their bit too.

Allan Spence, the organisation’s head of public and passenger safety, said: “A lack of knowledge around how dangerous the tracks can be means more people are not taking the proper care at level crossings and putting themselves in danger.

“By understanding how to use a crossing safely and paying attention to the warnings at level crossings, we can all keep ourselves out of harm's way."

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Lucy Ruck, who lost her leg at a level crossing when she was just 17, urged young people to take care.

“My message to young people at level crossings is to look,” she said.

“It's more dangerous than crossing a road because of the speed, power and force of a train. Nowhere is worth being on time if you're risking your life to be there.”

Copyright Press Association 2018. Motoring News articles do not reflect the RAC's views unless clearly stated.