Danger warning to drivers who jump lights at Insch crossing

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Inversnecky

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More than 200 motorists have been reported to the Procurator Fiscal in the past nine years for failing to obey the traffic signals....

https://www.grampianonline.co.uk/ne...r-safety-as-numbers-jumping-them-soar-226184/
Drivers are being warned about the dangers of jumping the lights at Insch level crossing.

More than 200 motorists have been reported to the Procurator Fiscal in the past nine years for failing to obey the traffic signals.

Despite Covid restrictions reducing road traffic in 2020, a further nine drivers have been detected failing to comply with the traffic signals.

Drivers who have been reported to the procurator fiscal's office by British Transport Police have received fines ranging from £100 to £290, along with penalty points for failing to comply with stop signals at Insch level crossing.

In one case, significant disruption was caused to rail and road users after the barriers were struck and damaged – resulting in a driver receiving a £690 fine and a six-month driving ban.
 
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philthetube

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There should be a publicity campaign, is jumping these lights worth 3 points.
 

Mcr Warrior

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So, what's the typical delay between the crossing closing, and the train going through? There might be a reason for the reported behaviour.
Does seem to be a fair time (3 minutes +) between the barriers going down and the train arriving if this YouTube video clip is anything to go by.


YouTube video clip of Insch Station level crossing in operation.
 

eMeS

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Does seem to be a fair time (3 minutes +) between the barriers going down and the train arriving if this YouTube video clip is anything to go by.


YouTube video clip of Insch Station level crossing in operation.
That's similar to what I've recorded on video at crossings close to me.
 

LSWR Cavalier

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Apparently there is a problem with longer waiting times, drivers get impatient and try to zig around the barriers if they have to wait a bit longer, even a few seconds

I dinnae mind waiting when driving, used to go to work via a folding bridge. If it was closed to vehicles I switched off the engine and enjoyed relaxing for a few minutes
 

AM9

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Apparently there is a problem with longer waiting times, drivers get impatient and try to zig around the barriers if they have to wait a bit longer, even a few seconds

I dinnae mind waiting when driving, used to go to work via a folding bridge. If it was closed to vehicles I switched off the engine and enjoyed relaxing for a few minutes
Just musing over what could be done at the worst crossings:
At a 'problem' crossing, maybe it would be possible to have two sets of gates, the first, set back down the road by about 30 metres* and the second in the conventional location.The first gates on each section would close when the lights go from amber to red, the second at the time that a vehicle travelling at the normal road speed would have just passed through the first lights on the amber. A strict speed camera would also be placed in the gap between the gates. Of course, this might make a few crossings more complex to install and maintain.
Any vehicle caught between the gates would also be captured on camera and dealt with suitably by a summons. So, if drivers persisted in speed through the gates, they would get a speeding ticker. If they cut it too fine at the end of the amber phase, they would also be penalised. There would the inevitablef whingeing from certain types of drivers if such a thing was introduced, but at some crossings, bad behaviour and/or collisions are approaching the point where something other than closure of the crossing is needed.
* some of the worst locations don't have the space for setback gates or the space between them includes access to properties along the road.
 

markymark2000

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Why are we not installing cameras here to fine people who disobey the lights. We do it for red traffic lights where the risk is much lower (in comparison) why aren't cameras in place to find and give points to people disobeying level crossings.

As with most of these things on the railways, there is minimal punishment and people keep getting away with it on that basis of minimal enforcement. The risk of being caught and punished is minimal. Until NR and the police get off their backside and starts some meaningful enforcement on level crossing abuse, nothing will change. None of this, a few hours in a van and hope for the best, a permeant camera with heavy fines and points given.

Why do you think people slow down at speed cameras, why do you think people are more cautious at red lights when they see a camera? Because they don't want to get caught and fined. You'd have thought over the past year these pleas are not working.
 

Mcr Warrior

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At some level crossings, for example at Deansgate Lane and the nearby Navigation Road (both where the Manchester -> Altrincham Metrolink line and the Stockport -> Chester heavy rail line run parallel to each other); if there were to be a three minute plus period between the barriers coming down, and the tram or train (as the case may be) passing through, the frequency of service is such that there would, in normal times, scarcely be any time available for road traffic to safely use the two crossing(s). :s
 

Inversnecky

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Broadening it out from Insch, there’s some mindboggling stuff online:


The last one here...there are no words....

 

Mcr Warrior

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Looking at the Poole High Street level crossing video clip, it does seem like quite a few of those trying to beat the barriers dropping are cyclists, for whom using the overbridge might be considered a faff.

Getting back on topic, what's the specific issue at Insch? Is the three minute barrier activation period in any way unusual?
 

Elecman

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Why are we not installing cameras here to fine people who disobey the lights. We do it for red traffic lights where the risk is much lower (in comparison) why aren't cameras in place to find and give points to people disobeying level crossings.

As with most of these things on the railways, there is minimal punishment and people keep getting away with it on that basis of minimal enforcement. The risk of being caught and punished is minimal. Until NR and the police get off their backside and starts some meaningful enforcement on level crossing abuse, nothing will change. None of this, a few hours in a van and hope for the best, a permeant camera with heavy fines and points given.

Why do you think people slow down at speed cameras, why do you think people are more cautious at red lights when they see a camera? Because they don't want to get caught and fined. You'd have thought over the past year these pleas are not working.
There are Red Light cameras being fitted at some of the more regularly misused level,crossings and have been for several years now
 

markymark2000

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There are Red Light cameras being fitted at some of the more regularly misused level,crossings and have been for several years now
Good, they clearly need to be more widespread though if they feel the need to keep doing these silly press releases and pleas via the news.
 

Llanigraham

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Looking at the Poole High Street level crossing video clip, it does seem like quite a few of those trying to beat the barriers dropping are cyclists, for whom using the overbridge might be considered a faff.

Getting back on topic, what's the specific issue at Insch? Is the three minute barrier activation period in any way unusual?

3 minutes seems quite normal from my experience.
I wonder if those commenting on it here realise what the signaller controlling this crossing has to do activating the crossing and then "doing" the signals?

And as for putting cameras at the worst crossings; good but the fines need to be higher. I had an example at my crossing of someone jumping the lights even though we had a camera van plainly visible at the crossing. He even had the audacity of going to Court and saying he hadn't done it, despite video evidence and sworn statements from the BTP Officer and myself, and our attendance at Court. The Magistrates were not impressed!
 

johntea

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Starbeck (near Harrogate) is notorious for 'chancers', in fact BTP recently reported 12 incidents in a single month! (offending twice in some cases!)

I don't get what the motorists are in such a rush for, there are 24 hours in a day and they are risking their own life as well as others for the sake of 2-3 minutes...


Urgent warning after drivers ignore signals at Harrogate level crossing​

British Transport Police is warning drivers of the consequences of misusing level crossings after 12 incidents were recorded at the same crossing in one month.

The signaller controlled crossing at Starbeck has recently seen drivers ignore warning signals to stop and wait as the barriers were lowering, despite the imminent danger.

On Friday, 8 January and Thursday, 14 January, drivers attempted to beat the safety barriers at Starbeck level crossing twice in one day.
 

Marlin

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With regards to the 3 minutes , I thought the time the crossing gates closed to the time the train passes was due to the stopping time / distance required .

if say a car broke down on the crossing as a train was due then would the time to notify the driver of the train and distance required be around 3 minutes ?

Obviously depends on speed of the train etc .
 

Mcr Warrior

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3 minutes seems quite normal from my experience.
Might then "explain" (but not excuse) the psychology of the chancers. If the barriers are only just coming down, users who have previously used the crossing may be of the erroneous opinion that there always won't be any train coming along for that full three minute period. :s
 

Bald Rick

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Why are we not installing cameras here to fine people who disobey the lights. We do it for red traffic lights where the risk is much lower (in comparison) why aren't cameras in place to find and give points to people disobeying level crossings.

Err, isn’t that precisely what is happening, as reported in the opening post?

There are some (very) complex legal issues about installing cameras at level crossing, and each one has to be dealt with individually.
 

L401CJF

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Leasowe level crossing on the Merseyrail network also has a 3 minute delay between the barriers closing and train arriving. Its on a 30mph road but is quite a bad one for speeding, seen a lot of people jump the barriers at this one, probably because it's notorious for jamming in the down position and having to take a lengthy diversion. I have seen the police van with camera to catch people running the lights at Leasowe crossing once, I use it quite regularly but that's the only time I saw them.

I would be more than happy to see permanent red light cameras in place at all level crossings personally. I don't mind waiting at the crossing, if I know the train is due at a crossing I know well, I ease of the gas and aim for a front row seat to watch the train pass :D
 

LSWR Cavalier

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Indeed, if one is lucky the barriers stay down and one may enjoy watching another train go by, relaxing with the motor off. Quite possibly it is 'better' for drivers, fewer precious seconds are sacrificed than are lost if the barriers go up, then down again soon after
 

Inversnecky

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My YT suggestions full of these now. It’s amazing there aren’t more accidents.

I presume automatically operated crossings that go down when the train is maybe 20 seconds before aren’t used in these urban areas? Otherwise it would be carnage on a daily basis.

 

Wychwood93

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My YT suggestions full of these now. It’s amazing there aren’t more accidents.

I presume automatically operated crossings that go down when the train is maybe 20 seconds before aren’t used in these urban areas? Otherwise it would be carnage on a daily basis.

Mount Pleasant crossing between Northam and St. Denys, controlled from Eastleigh and very busy for trains and not too shabby for vehicles either. The barriers are down for quite a bit of each hour, to say the least.
 

swt_passenger

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Mount Pleasant crossing between Northam and St. Denys, controlled from Eastleigh and very busy for trains and not too shabby for vehicles either. The barriers are down for quite a bit of each hour, to say the least.
I wonder what would have happened to the NR van driver seen at 1m 16s?
 

Mojo

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My YT suggestions full of these now. It’s amazing there aren’t more accidents.

I presume automatically operated crossings that go down when the train is maybe 20 seconds before aren’t used in these urban areas? Otherwise it would be carnage on a daily basis.

I was a bit shocked but did laugh out loud when the Network Rail van went over whilst the red lights were flashing!
 

Bald Rick

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I wonder what would have happened to the NR van driver seen at 1m 16s?

If identified (likely, if recent), he or she would almost certainly have been dismissed unless there were rock solid extenuating circumstances (unusual).
 

O L Leigh

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Well, you give motorists an Insch...

*Ahem*

This does seem to be symptomatic of the general attitude often seen when driving on the roads. I see it a lot at temporary traffic lights protecting roadworks too where drivers will often pull onto the opposite side of the road a couple of hundred yards ahead of the lights to give themselves some justification for jumping the red light when inevitably it changes before they get there. Sadly it seems that everyone else's journey is so much more important.

It's certainly not a new problem where level crossings are concerned. The various barriers down the Lea Valley route seemed to be clobbered on an almost weekly basis because some chancer thought it would be sensible to run the lights. Regrettably the only solution seems to be certainty of detection and punishment for infringements, but that is going to mean yet more camera enforcement.

I'm not even totally sold on the issue of time lost due to waiting at the barriers, because the problem of people running the lights seems to be just as bad at AHB crossings where the gate time is generally much less.
 

Mcr Warrior

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The NR (white van) plate number has already been commented upon by someone on the rate-driver website. o_O
 
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