Network Rail calls for theory test to include level crossing questions

145 near misses between motor vehicles and trains in 2009.

Network Rail has called for the driving theory test to include compulsory questions on level crossings.

Around 95 per cent of incidents at level crossings are down to motorist or pedestrian misuse or error.

The call for change comes as figures reveal that almost three motorists a week narrowly avoid a potentially fatal collision with a train after breaking the law at level crossings.

In 2009, there were 3,244 recorded incidents of misuse or error at level crossings, as well as 14 collisions between vehicles and trains, 13 deaths and 145 near misses between motor vehicles and trains. In total, there were over 3,200 incidents of misuse at level crossings last year.  

Network Rail chief executive Iain Coucher said: "I’m confident that lives will be saved if motorists learn how to safely use level crossings from the day they pass their test. Our campaign is raising awareness of the very real dangers of running the risk but we think more can be done to change motorists’ behaviour."

Further information:
Network Rail

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