10:55AM, Thursday 17 April 2014
The level crossing at Furze Platt has been named by rail bosses as the No.1 location in the Thames Valley for people putting their lives at risk by ignoring basic safety.
The crossing in Harrow Lane is top of the list for 'pedestrian trespass' which includes crossing the tracks when the barriers are down or walking along the tracks.
There have been 22 recorded cases since the start of the year.
The total number of incidents for 2013 was 24 and a warning has been issued that people are at risk of being killed.
British Transport Police (BTP) has now joined forces with the Network Rail’s safety team to teach teenagers at the Furze Platt Secondary School about safety issues and the legal implications for anyone misusing level crossings.
An enforcement van fitted with a CCTV roof camera was taken to the school in Furze Platt Road on Wednesday, April 2, to show students how the technology helps to prosecute people.
BTP Inspector John Purcell said: "We are committed to educating road users and pedestrians about how to use this crossing safely.
"There will always be a small minority who choose to ignore the law. Using the enforcement vehicle will specifically target these people, as well as reinforce the message."
A trespasser can pay a fine of up to £1,000, or more if the case gets taken to court.
Between now and 2019 more than £100m is being invested into closing level crossings around the country. There are no plans in the pipeline to close the crossing in Furze Platt.
Community safety manager for Network Rail, Liz Heading, said: "Wherever possible we are looking to provide alternative means of going over or under the railway.
"However, that isn’t always possible so we need to help people keep themselves safe."
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