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4 December 2012
Together with the British Transport Police, we've introduced cutting-edge camera technology to crack down on level crossing misuse and change drivers' behaviour, with the latest police vehicle launched on the Western route.
Purpose built marked police vans are fitted with state-of-the art video recording equipment.
The vans, each equipped with nine cameras using number plate recognition technology, are operated by the British Transport Police and have access to all the systems needed to process prosecutions instantly.
Level crossing misuse remains a big issue for the railway with daily reports of motorists putting lives at risk, causing major delays for passengers and motorists and costing the industry thousands of pounds through damage and disruption. The new mobile camera technology has been introduced to try to change the behaviour of motorists and deter them from jumping lights and swerving around barriers at crossings.
Shiplake level crossing
The new Western route police van will be stationed at Shiplake crossing in Oxfordshire on 4 December 2012. This crossing experiences frequent misuse by motorists and pedestrians who ignore the warning signs and risk their lives crossing when the lights are flashing. It is one of 720 level crossings on the Western route, which includes the Thames Valley and the West Country. We will install half-barriers at this crossing by the end of March 2013.
Thatcham level crossing
In the past few weeks, the van visited Thatcham level crossing and three drivers are now being prosecuted by the British Transport Police after crossing when the warning lights were flashing.
£130m improvement fund
Our £130m nationwide programme is upgrading or closing level crossings where possible. Improvements include:
Since 2009, we've closed more than 600 level crossings.
Level crossing awareness days are frequently held to educate people on the dangers of ignoring warning signs. Read more about level crossings and how to use them safely.