Dangerous crossing

CITIZENS of Broughty Ferry are being warned to stop taking their lives in their hands at railway crossings, or face prosecution.

British Transport Police have deployed a mobile CCTV unit to the Gray Street rail crossing in an effort to catch drivers and pedestrians who flaunt the safety warnings.

It seems people brazenly attempt to cross the line once the lights have begun to flash and the barrier has started to descend, endangering themselves and the approaching train.

The problem is particularly pronounced while the pedestrian underpass at the crossing is closed for refurbishment.

Last Monday and Wednesday, while the mobile unit was on site, two drivers were observed crossing the line illegally.

According to the British Transport Police those drivers have been issued a notice of their intention to prosecute.

This will generally result in a fixed penalty of a £60 fine and three points on their licence, but after viewing footage of the incident a fiscal may deem it more suitable to press for a charge of dangerous driving or a harsher fine.

Figures released by the British Transport Police showed that between February and August last year 46 people were reported to the procurator fiscal for illegally crossing the railway line.

In June last year 12 schoolchildren crossed the line after the barriers had started to come down, and four boys from that group became the subject of a report on the incident.

Mark Henderson, Network Rail Scotland’s community safety manager, said: “Misuse of level crossings is the single biggest outside risk to rail safety. We are determined to work with the police and other partners to reduce abuse at our crossings and to prosecute those who insist on risking their lives and the safety of others by jumping the lights.”

A spokesperson for the British Transport Police commented: “Despite previous warnings, there are still those who think it is a good idea to put their own life, and those of others, at risk for the sake of saving a few minutes.”

It is hoped that intermittent visits by the mobile unit will discourage risk-takers.