Belfast Telegraph

Dicing with death ...motorists speed across train lines

By Garrett Hargan

Drivers are dicing with death on a railway level crossing in the north west.

The crossing in Castlerock has now been dubbed the most dangerous in Northern Ireland because of the number of motorists trying to beat the barriers.

CCTV footage has captured reckless drivers in the act, as they put the lives of their passengers, those travelling on oncoming trains and their own lives at risk.

In a series of images, you can clearly see the driver of a silver car brazenly ignoring the barrier and then the flashing red lights as he/she approaches the crossing.

Translink says it thinks the reason many drivers are ignoring the warnings is because the line was shut for a time earlier this year as the track was upgraded.

They have warned that it is now very much back in use and if drivers continue to jump the barrier, it is a matter of time before someone is killed.

Translink also revealed that fines have been issued in excess of £9,000 in the past year. It has taken action against individuals regarding 76 incidents along the rail network in Northern Ireland.

Almost half of all prosecutions made by the company over the past 12 months relate to the stretch of line between Londonderry and Coleraine.

Translink Rail general manager Malachy McGreevy said: "Although these figures are lower than in previous years, it is likely that the reduction is due to the upgrade work carried out on the Londonderry line.

"Since the line reopened, there have been 16 incidents of motorists attempting to beat the barrier at Castlerock and all of them may face prosecution.

"We are reminding motorists and pedestrians that CCTV is in operation at stations, railway crossings and on all trains. These monitor inappropriate behaviour and, in an effort to keep everyone safe, Translink will prosecute anyone caught damaging property, trespassing or endangering others.

"The rules are simple – don't use the tracks as a shortcut; on the platform, always wait behind the yellow line; never mess around near the tracks; use railway crossings safely; and motorists should never be tempted to jump the lights at railway crossings."

Translink recently held a successful Level Crossing Safety Day in Castlerock in partnership with Road Service and the Castlerock Community Association to provide important level crossing advice.

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