RECKLESS motorists who flout safety rules at a busy level crossing are putting lives at risk, police have warned.
British Transport Police have joined forces with Network Rail to launch a nationwide crackdown on drivers, cyclists and pedestrians – who are dicing with death by jumping red lights.
A British Transport Police (BTP) mobile safety vehicle had a camera trained on East Boldon level crossing yesterday to catch road users breaking the law.
Staff from Nexus – who are the main train operator on the crossing – were also on hand, passing out leaflets to motorists and raising awareness of the needless risks many are taking.
Operation Look, which is also backed by the AA and RAC, is a week-long enforcement campaign.
Inspector Pete Kooper, of British Transport Police, said: “All too often people get into the habit of taking risks at crossings. Our message is simple – use crossings safely.
“It may be tempting to jump a light to shave a minute or two off your journey, but every time you do, you endanger your life and the lives of other road and rail users.
“Fail to obey the signals and you may also end up with a driving ban or a criminal record. Is that really worth the risk?”
BTP’s fleet of Mobile Safety Vehicles will be stationed at crossings across the country during the week.
The vans utilise automatic number plate recognition.
Darren Furness, head of level crossings for Network Rail, said: “We know waiting at crossings can sometimes be frustrating but it is really important that people do not get complacent or ignore warnings lights, as this can put lives at risk.”
A Tyne and Wear Metro spokesman said: “The Metro is the main train operator using the crossing in East Boldon.
“As such, we are keen to work with Network Rail and British Transport Police to raise awareness of the importance of using the crossing safely.
“Our staff were there to help promote that very important safety message.”