One car a day risks rail crash
AT LEAST one motorist a day in Scotland is risking a rail disaster by driving through red lights on level crossings.
Nearly 250 drivers were caught by crossing cameras between January and May, each of whom avoided being hit by a train by just a few seconds.
The highest number of offences occurred at Kirknewton in West Lothian, where red-light dodgers have less time to get clear of high-speed expresses than slower trains at other crossings.
A total of 67 drivers were caught at that crossing, with a further 58 being photographed at Garve, north-west of Inverness, and 48 at Cornton, near Stirling.
The British Transport Police (BTP) said some cars had even been hit by crossing barriers as they came down, while other drivers had swerved around them.
BTP officers will next week tour areas with the most offences with a "red runner" - the wreck of a car which was hit by a train after being driven through the red light at a crossing.
The force said that although the figures were down on 2002’s - figures for 2003 were affected by camera problems - too many drivers were still breaking the law. There were a total of 842 offences in 2002, and 605 last year.
PC Steven Robertson, of the BTP’s camera unit, said: "We are glad to see the continuing downward trend, but sorry to see drivers are still risking their lives and those of others by jumping red lights."
The offence carries a minimum 60 fine and three penalty points on driving licences, but fines can increase to several hundred pounds.
All those prosecuted have been caught on film at least one second after the lights have gone red. This is preceded by amber lights and an audible warning for more than four seconds.
Cameras were installed at eight crossings in Scotland four years ago. The others are at Kingsknowe in Edinburgh, Ardrossan in Ayrshire, and three in Dingwall.
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