A railway crossing abused by over 100 motorists and pedestrians was targeted this morning in a police operation.
Officers from British Transport Police (BTP) and Merton police were stationed at Mitcham Eastfields level crossing, where over 100 incidents have been recorded in the last two months where people drive or walk through while the red ‘stop’ lights are flashing.
In the last year, three motorists have crashed into the barrier as it has lowered with several more near misses, as this video illustrates.
PC Chris Shepherd, from BTP, said: “Incredibly some people are still putting their lives on the line by ignoring warning lights and sirens and trying to dash through crossings when trains are approaching.
“This is hugely irresponsible and dangerous and we will not hesitate to take action against anyone caught doing so.
“By trying to save a few seconds, you could end up seriously hurt or losing your life.”
A new marked police van has also been stationed at the site, fitted with nine cameras which use number plate recognition technology to catch those trying to beat the barrier.
Called the Railway Safety Camera Partnership Vehicle, it has been funded by Network Rail and is hoped to act as a deterrent to those abusing the crossing.
A previous police operation, on Monday, March 7, found that children from nearby St Marks Academy, in Acacia Road, were running under the crossing gates while they were down.
Last year across the UK, 31 people were killed at level crossings - 13 people in vehicles and 18 pedestrians.
Have you seen people flouting the warning lights at Mitcham Eastfields? Leave a comment below or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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