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Danger warning to drivers who jump lights at Insch crossing

By Pat Scott

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Drivers are being warned about the dangers of jumping the lights at Insch level crossing.

More than 200 motorists have been reported to the Procurator Fiscal in the past nine years for failing to obey the traffic signals.

Despite Covid restrictions reducing road traffic in 2020, a further nine drivers have been detected failing to comply with the traffic signals.

Drivers are being reminded that even though the roads may be quieter, the railway infrastructure continues to run 365 days a year, and the traffic signal directions must be complied with at all times for the safety of all rail and road users.

Drivers who have been reported to the procurator fiscal's office by British Transport Police have received fines ranging from £100 to £290, along with penalty points for failing to comply with stop signals at Insch level crossing.

In one case, significant disruption was caused to rail and road users after the barriers were struck and damaged – resulting in a driver receiving a £690 fine and a six-month driving ban.

Network Rail, who own and operate the level crossing, have held a series of community safety events with the British Transport Police (BTP) and Aberdeenshire Council in an effort to reduce offences.

BTP's camera enforcement van regularly monitors the level crossing and Network Rail has invested in fixed speed cameras to try and improve safety.

A spokesman said: "We invest in a wide-ranging programme, working with national and local organisations, to make level crossings safer and to help people use them correctly.

"Like any road hazard, drivers should anticipate the requirement to stop when approaching level crossings. The Highway Code gives clear instruction on the safe use of level crossings."

Scottish Conservative MSP for Aberdeenshire West, Alexander Burnett says drivers are risking their lives by ignoring the signals which are there for a reason.

He said: “I’m alarmed by the number of motorists who want to take this risk because someone will be killed if these incidents continue.

“Road users should remember that train drivers cannot swerve or brake as suddenly as other vehicles can in an emergency stop.

“It’s simply not worth taking the risk to cross when the signals say not to and I would encourage everyone to follow the safety measures in place.”

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