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Barricade1989
Hi Everyone, hope you're all well.

I'm a new driver. This morning, I came up to a level crossing, and lights started flashing so stopped and the barriers came down.

So, I'm at the front waiting, and then after a while, the train passes and the barriers start going up. Just as they were about half way to full way up I started moving past the white stop line slowly, but then noticed the level crossing lights were still flashing so stopped half way over the line and had traffic behind me which was still waiting.

But as the barriers started going up, loads of people were moving anyhow, so as the barriers reached near the top I started moving through and went through the level crossing but didnt see if lights had stopped flashing behind me! Have I done wrong?

There were CCTV cameras fixed on the train tracks.

Thanks in advance everyone!

Worried!
BaggieBoy
If the red lights are still flashing, then it would be an offence to cross the stop line. However I suspect under the circumstances you mention the chance of enforcement taking place is slight.
Barricade1989
Hey mate, thanks for your quick reply.

I forgot to mention however, that the stop line is quite far (about 1 and a half to 2 cars length) away from the barriers/dip in the road.

So by the time I stopped my back wheels were still behind the stop line...

What do you think?
nemo
QUOTE (Barricade1989 @ Wed, 10 Mar 2010 - 11:02) *
So by the time I stopped my back wheels were still behind the stop line.

The offence would have been complete if any part of the vehicle had proceeded beyond the stop line with the red lights showing.
Barricade1989
Hmmm, cheers for your reply mate.

Is this even if the barriers were more than half way up? And people had started to proceed walking past anyway?

Theres no cameras fixed on the stop line, only on the train tracks itself..

Well worried now!
southpaw82
If the lights were red then an offence is committed if any part of the vehicle proceeds past the line.
nemo
QUOTE (Barricade1989 @ Wed, 10 Mar 2010 - 12:21) *
Is this even if the barriers were more than half way up?

The barriers are irrelevant - its the lights which convey the prohibition.
Barricade1989
Hey guys, thanks for your replies. As a new driver I will take them well on board and learn not to make the same mistake for next time!

If anyone has time (or can be bothered!), if you can take a look at this: Google streetview link of where I was

Is there a good chance I could get done for it - taking into consideration what I said in my first few posts?

Thanks again guys, your replies are really helpful, and this board is great.

Regards.
roythebus
Welcome abord Baricade.

Please take note that trains take a long time to stop and according to today's BBC news, killed 14 people on level crossings last year.

Hopefully, you won't get nicked this time, but as others have said above, wait the extra couple of seconds until the lights have stopped flashing before you proceed next time. There is a small possibility, especially on an automatic crossing, that another train is coming from the opposite direction.

To add to Southpaw's comment above, it is an offence for any person of any vehicle including the emergency services to cross the stop line when the red lights are flashing.

Take care.
Barricade1989
Hello Roythebus,

Thanks for your comment!

I made a bad mistake, and I was just a bit jumpy/quick to go as I saw the barriers go up (which I've walked through several times as a pedestrian - obviously when they've been up!). Bit annoyed at myself!

Cheers everyone, Kindest Regards
P91
QUOTE (Barricade1989 @ Wed, 10 Mar 2010 - 13:50) *
Is there a good chance I could get done for it


If you went through on red it's highly likely as this offence is treated seriously, hence placement of the CCTV.
Barricade1989
Yes but the CCTV is fixed directly on the train tracks (and not on the stop line which is quite far away) and the barriers were up and a lot of pedestrians had already started moving already well before I had even started moving...

I wouldn't be able to go through on the train tracks without physically going through the barrier A-Team style...
southpaw82
You would have to receive a notice of intended prosecution within 14 days of the offence. So, give it two weeks and then you'll know.
Barricade1989
Yeah I know :-(

Going to be a very emotional two weeks for me!

Thanks everyone.
susie_mcg
Coincidentally this appeared on BBC news today -

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8559121.stm

Calling for level crossing questions to be included in driving tests.

Barricade I hope you've got away with it this time and it's a lesson learned!
Barricade1989
Thank you Susie! It is definately a lesson learned!

Yeah I heard about that too!

I basically did what the cyclist in the background at the end of this video did - but waited about 2-3 seconds later! hehe

susie_mcg
I'm surprised no-one on the news picked up on that cyclist's cheeky move!

My dad works for the railway in California and has to attend the aftermath when cars and pedestrians are hit by trains on level crossings. He's told me some horror stories and cases of miraculous escapes. The most recent was an uninsured woman who drove onto the crossing, was hit by the oncoming train and her SUV then caused $250,000 of damage to signalling equipment as it was thrown down the tracks. Amazingly she survived - that will be a nice court case for her to ponder while she recovers in hospital!

Some people even ram their way through the barriers while they're down. I don't know why anyone would be brave enough to take on a train ohmy.gif

Although I doubt you will, let us know if you receive anything in the post about this.
Barricade1989
I will Susie! Hope I don't get anything in the post! :-( Thanks again!

Wow that women seems like she had gone out thinking what the best way to cause maximum damage with an SUV was!

It's amazing to think that people actually ram barriers whilst they are down!
Starfighter
QUOTE (Barricade1989 @ Wed, 10 Mar 2010 - 13:50) *
As a new driver I will take them well on board and learn not to make the same mistake for next time!

Attitude test - Passed with flying colours.

Mistake made, advice requested and behavour changed. Such a pity that more novice drivers either cannot or will not follow your example. Best of luck on the 14 day wait, in my opinion a prosecution would probably be counter-productive as the lesson is learned.
roythebus
I speak as a former BR train driver, now a volunteer on a steam railway where we have to deal with at least 4 level crossings of the old-fashioned type every trip.

Trains don't usually injure car drivers or trespassers on the line; they kill them. It's all very messy and some poor sod at the depot has to go under the train and pick the bits out of the motors and braking equipment. Go under a steam loco and you'll end up getting barbecued too, so saving on fees at the crematorium.

My son happens to be a train engineer, and has to to this rather unpleasant task occasionally.

Please, pepipooers, don't mess with level crossings.
susie_mcg
QUOTE (roythebus @ Thu, 11 Mar 2010 - 08:11) *
I speak as a former BR train driver, now a volunteer on a steam railway where we have to deal with at least 4 level crossings of the old-fashioned type every trip.

Trains don't usually injure car drivers or trespassers on the line; they kill them. It's all very messy and some poor sod at the depot has to go under the train and pick the bits out of the motors and braking equipment. Go under a steam loco and you'll end up getting barbecued too, so saving on fees at the crematorium.

My son happens to be a train engineer, and has to to this rather unpleasant task occasionally.

Please, pepipooers, don't mess with level crossings.



Hear hear!
spanner345
QUOTE (susie_mcg @ Thu, 11 Mar 2010 - 08:53) *
QUOTE (roythebus @ Thu, 11 Mar 2010 - 08:11) *
I speak as a former BR train driver, now a volunteer

Please, pepipooers, don't mess with level crossings.



Hear hear!

A friend of mine is an inspector with the transport police. He states that when a train meets a pedestrian, at any sort of speed, they don't always find all of the pedestrians remains.

Don't feck around near trains.
zamzara
It's a good idea for scamera enforcement though: bring the barriers up after the train has passed, but leave the lights flashing for 20-30seconds. Enforce by camera. Kerching, you heard it hear first.
Starfighter
QUOTE (zamzara @ Thu, 11 Mar 2010 - 15:12) *
It's a good idea for scamera enforcement though: bring the barriers up after the train has passed, but leave the lights flashing for 20-30seconds. Enforce by camera. Kerching, you heard it hear first.

And for ambulance-chasers-direct.com if the lights go off with the barriers either down or moving when some muppet goes on the lights without bothering to look out of the window!
captain swoop
QUOTE (zamzara @ Thu, 11 Mar 2010 - 15:12) *
It's a good idea for scamera enforcement though: bring the barriers up after the train has passed, but leave the lights flashing for 20-30seconds. Enforce by camera. Kerching, you heard it hear first.



Lights on the crossings I regularly use don't go back to green until after the barriers have completely opened and stopped moving. If they did stay flashing after the barrier is open it's still a red light so driving past is exactly the same as driving past a red trafficlight, you wwouldn't do that if the crossing traffic stopped but the lights didn't change for a few seconds would you?

ANyway this is 'Flame Pit' stuff and not helping the OP.
Sparxy
QUOTE (roythebus @ Wed, 10 Mar 2010 - 15:14) *
Welcome abord Baricade.

Please take note that trains take a long time to stop and according to today's BBC news, killed 14 people on level crossings last year.

Hopefully, you won't get nicked this time, but as others have said above, wait the extra couple of seconds until the lights have stopped flashing before you proceed next time. There is a small possibility, especially on an automatic crossing, that another train is coming from the opposite direction.

To add to Southpaw's comment above, it is an offence for any person of any vehicle including the emergency services to cross the stop line when the red lights are flashing.

Take care.


Exactly. The lights will illuminate before the barriers come down, so if another train was coming, there is the potential to have the barriers go up, and then come back down again.
NeilNeil
It doesn't seem that what the OP did was dangerous, just that he committed an offence. Have there ever been occasions when the barrier has started to rise when there was a train coming?
Barricade1989
Hey guys!

I was waiting for my friend yesterday in a car park opposite the station and observed the barriers, the red flashing lights go off when the barrier is half way up, and I noticed 2-3 people going a bit early like me so I believe I jumped the line about a second or two early. I know, I know - just because everyone does it - doesn't make it right!

With regards to what Sparxy and NeilNeil are saying - I don't believe I've ever seen or known a barrier to rise only to come down straight away within seconds. If there was a train coming then they'd just leave the barriers down wouldn't they? They wouldn't bother bringing them up and then down straight away right? This is what I've always seen them do at this particular station. I've usually been 3-4 cars down from the front a few times and a train has passed and 2-3 minutes later the barriers are still down and another train eventually comes through before they open.

But I am a new driver! 12 days to go! :-(

Hope I don't get done for going a second early!

This may sound dumb, but personally, I don't get why they don't just use normal traffic lights for level crossings?
roythebus
See the post from Spanner. If we had normal traffic lights, the chances are more peeps would jump them.

The way the barriers usually work is that an approaching train will operate a treadle in the track, say 1 mile from the crossing. there is another treadle say 1/2 mile from the crossing, with a third set clear of the crossing on the exit side. Treadle 1 will set off circuitry which starts the lights flashing and the barriers close when train hits treadle 2. Once the train has cleared the crossing, it operates treadle 3 which opens the barriers.

If there's a train coming from the other way, that train hitting treadle 1 will cancel the barriers going up from treadle 3. Simple innit? Waiting times will depend on the line speed of the railway, actual train speeds and so on. a lot of crossings are controlled by a signalman, so he will know by his panel what trains are approaching and keep the barriers shut if necessary.

Normally, there is a railway signal which operates and is interlocked with the barriers, and this may not clear until the barriers are down. This signal may be a mile away, hence the delay between the barriers closing and the train using the crossing; infuriating I know, but essential for railway safety.
ISTR posting similar information on thread here recently.
Hadeon
QUOTE (zamzara @ Thu, 11 Mar 2010 - 15:12) *
It's a good idea for scamera enforcement though: bring the barriers up after the train has passed, but leave the lights flashing for 20-30seconds. Enforce by camera. Kerching, you heard it hear first.


I must challenge this statement - in the normal course of events, the red lights remain illuminated for only 3/4 seconds whilst tha barriers are raising following the passage of a train. Scamera enforcement isn't a factor here.

Another very important general point to bear in mind, & some may not be aware of this, - if barriers have failed in the raised position and road traffic signals are illuminated (ie flashing red) then trains can, & are authorised, on the direction of a signaller, to proceed over the open crossing, albeit at crawl speed.

The message & lessons here are obvious, I hope.

Barricade1989 - you've got a few more anxious days to wait I'm afraid, but seeing as you 'jumped the gun' when the barriers were on the way up rather than down, you might get lucky.

roythebus
Agreed there Hadeon. the scammers don't come into the equation when it comes to level crossings. The cameras are there purely to bring offending drivers to book for endangering the safety of the railway.
Dr Science
QUOTE (zamzara @ Thu, 11 Mar 2010 - 15:12) *
It's a good idea for scamera enforcement though: bring the barriers up after the train has passed, but leave the lights flashing for 20-30seconds. Enforce by camera. Kerching, you heard it hear first.


Except that the lights and how they work are the property of Network Rail - who would be getting nothing out of the deal apart from a chance of even further damaging their already tarnished credibility - so would not go along with it.

Usually the lights do keep flashing for several seconds after the barriers start rising, this is because it takes a while for the barriers to reverse direction, which is what they will have to do if the crossing suddenly detects another train coming the other way. By keeping the lights flashing the idea is to keep people off of the crossing until the system is sure that no-one will be moving on to the crossing so quickly that they might have less than the legally required minimum time to get clear before the next train arrives.

On an automatic half-barrier (AHB) crossing, the train hits a trigger switch that is placed far enough away from the crossing that, for the fastest train permitted on that line, the time between the lights and sounders starting and the train arriving at the crossing is 37 seconds. Minimum. (This is up from 24 seconds, following the Hixon disaster of 1968).

For the first 6-8 seconds, only the lights and sounders are operating. Then the barriers begin to drop and reach the fully closed position about 6-8 seconds later.

There is a second switch that is operated as the train clears the crossing. Before the Hixon disaster this set the barriers rising and instantly shut off the lights and sounders. This was a problem because if a second train was approaching the other way or on a parallel track, and triggered the crossing just as the first train cleared it, the time needed for the barriers to get back to the top and the cycle to re-start allowed only 19 seconds warning (and only 12 seconds with gates fully shut) before the next train came through. After Hixon, not only was the warning time increased to 37 seconds, the rising of gates was delayed a little and the shutting down of sounders and lights was delayed a little more so that by the time people were allowed back onto the crossing they would still get the full 37 seconds warning, even if there was a train coming the other way.

In short, the barriers don't respond instantly to oncoming trains - the lights do. The lights are your friends. Obey the lights. Ignore the barriers, the barriers are only there for the benefit of livestock and people too young or too confused to obey the lights - and I suspect that you don't fall into any of those categories.

Dr.S
captain swoop
As usual a very good and concise post.
scbk
Atleast there was barriers and lights, some crossings are a little more basic... give way laugh.gif
ford poplar
At least that crossing would have saved one driver I saw trying to beat falling barriers.
The barriers landed on his roof, significant bodywork damage to roof, but fortunately car stopped clear of the rails, so sig repairs & penalty fine.
roythebus
A good point there from Dr S. for those too young to remember, the Hixon crossing accident in 1968 involved a long, slow low=loader with a very heavy transformer on it. It got stuck on one of the then new automatic crossings.

The low loader grounded, an oncoming train hit it broadside at about 100mph and killed a number of people, including 2 train drivers. This led to a public inquiry which brought about the signage we now have before level crossings. IIRC the resultant mess took a long time to clear up; the result of what happens when an unstoppable object meets an immovable object.
Glacier2
QUOTE (scbk @ Mon, 15 Mar 2010 - 00:52) *
Atleast there was barriers and lights, some crossings are a little more basic... give way laugh.gif


A low speed line and a very lightly used road there. The Give Ways would be more than adequate. Trains would either be standing in the station or slowing down to stop.
Dr Science
QUOTE (roythebus @ Mon, 15 Mar 2010 - 22:46) *
the Hixon crossing accident in 1968

...

led to a public inquiry which brought about the signage we now have before level crossings. IIRC the resultant mess took a long time to clear up; the result of what happens when an unstoppable object meets an immovable object.


Yes indeed. A 100 mph+ 12 coach express (kinetic energy about the same as an early 21st century heavy armour piercing shell) hitting a 120 ton electricity transformer on a low-loader, with only 24 seconds warning.

As if that would give enough time to do anything, other than say a couple of very rude words and run up a big laundry bill.

Eight dead and several more with "life changing" injuries (amazing it was not lots more - good crash survivability in trains even back in the late 60's). Plus massive property damage - including the 120 ton transformer wrecked and hurled into the next field (or possibly the field after the next field - the report I have is not clear). Whichever it was, some seriously special cranes had to be brought in to get it out.

Major criticism was levelled at the traffic police, who were escorting the convoy and had waved the low-loader onto the crossing, in-spite of the leaflets they had been handing out to the public and the warning signs that all said to phone the signal man if trying to cross the line with something slow (e.g. a herd of cows) that would not be able to get clear in a short time.

So please, don't undo the good work of the Hixon board of enquiry by "setting foot" on the crossing before the lights go out. And do phone the signalman (free phone is provided) if attempting to cross with some slow or unusual vehicle.

Even the most light weight trains are awfully heavy and, since Hixon in 1968, they have been carefully designed to totally marmalise any road vehicle they hit, so as to minimise the casualties to those on board the train. That is harsh, but it is for the greatest good for the greatest number.

Dr.S
roythebus
Wot Dr.S says in his last paragraph. If the 100mph train lobbed a 120 ton transformer 2 fields away, where would your car end up?

Donning anorak, the loco was rebuilt and survived for further service. It ended up in another train collision and was cut up after falling down the embankment at Watford in the 1980's IIRC!
Mister Ross
QUOTE (NeilNeil @ Fri, 12 Mar 2010 - 15:12) *
It doesn't seem that what the OP did was dangerous, just that he committed an offence. Have there ever been occasions when the barrier has started to rise when there was a train coming?


Has this point been missed? I wholeheartedly agree when it comes to screwing around with crossings. Those idiots in the BBC vids who drove straight through without looking are nuts!

But that said, why oh why do we have to wait almost 10 mins sometimes from the barriers being lowered to the train actually passing. I know these crossings need to be ultra-safe, but this has gone way too far, and IMO will render people more likely to skip through lowering barriers. I'm not surprised at all the pedestrians I saw in the vid walking straight round the barriers - they know they'd be standing there till tomorrow otherwise!

My personal opinion is that waiting time at the barriers should be sufficient to be safe, but not OTT as to encourage people to jump lights there.
dawmdt
QUOTE (Mister Ross @ Tue, 16 Mar 2010 - 11:27) *
QUOTE (NeilNeil @ Fri, 12 Mar 2010 - 15:12) *
It doesn't seem that what the OP did was dangerous, just that he committed an offence. Have there ever been occasions when the barrier has started to rise when there was a train coming?


But that said, why oh why do we have to wait almost 10 mins sometimes from the barriers being lowered to the train actually passing. I know these crossings need to be ultra-safe, but this has gone way too far, and IMO will render people more likely to skip through lowering barriers. I'm not surprised at all the pedestrians I saw in the vid walking straight round the barriers - they know they'd be standing there till tomorrow otherwise!

My personal opinion is that waiting time at the barriers should be sufficient to be safe, but not OTT as to encourage people to jump lights there.


You can't help the stupid, if the barriers were down for 1 min before the train passing some smartarse will always know better and try to go around the barriers. I don't mind, it's all fair and Darwinian in my book.
Dr Science
QUOTE (Mister Ross @ Tue, 16 Mar 2010 - 11:27) *
QUOTE (NeilNeil @ Fri, 12 Mar 2010 - 15:12) *
It doesn't seem that what the OP did was dangerous, just that he committed an offence. Have there ever been occasions when the barrier has started to rise when there was a train coming?


Has this point been missed?


No it has not been missed, but it has not been explicitly answered.

Yes. There have been occasions when the barrier has been rising when another train was approaching.

That is why the timings are what they are now (19 seconds was deemed a bit short notice...). That is also why the "STOP" lights now stay on a few seconds after the barriers have started to rise.

QUOTE
But that said, why oh why do we have to wait almost 10 mins sometimes from the barriers being lowered to the train actually passing.


Because the trigger point is set far enough back down the track that a train travelling at the speed limit for that line will arrive in 37 seconds. If it's a Virgin train on a bad day, its going to take longer. Especially if it gets stopped at a signal between the crossing trigger point and the crossing itself.

If it happens a lot at a specific crossing, write to Network Rail and the local Highways Department about it. They could change the crossing from an automatic one to a remote-controlled one, they could move the signal to a position before the crossing trigger point, or if the danger/congestion warrants it, they could spend a million quid or so on replacing the crossing with a bridge - it has happened.

Dr.S
scbk
QUOTE (Dr Science @ Tue, 16 Mar 2010 - 23:16) *
, or if the danger/congestion warrants it, they could spend a million quid or so on replacing the crossing with a bridge - it has happened.


If you ask Network Rail it apparently costs one million pounds rolleyes.gif just to slap in a set of barriers at a crossing that already has all the lights etc

http://www.johnogroat-journal.co.uk/news/f...r_crossing.html
roythebus
What a load of tosh. My local steam railway has installed about 7 sets of half barriers for less than that, all their crossings have lights already installed. These barriers were installed after the untimely deaths of 2 loco drivers following collisions with cars which jumped the red lights.

I'm informed it is not very pleasant being scalded to death while trapped in the cab of a steam loco.
captain swoop
If it's a Preservation Line or something like the RH&D then it's a 'Light Railway' Maximum speed 25MPH and a lower level of regulation.
Plus they do a lot of their work with volunteer labour and they don't have to work around a timetable or disrupt traffic. They can work in the 'closed season' taking as long as they want.
I work as a vlunteer on the NYMR. We do work like that at this time of year when there are no trains running. A couple of years ago we rebuilt the crossing at the end of the station in Grosmont. It has 2 full powered swing gate sets, pedestrian gates and interlocks with the signals. We spent 2 weeks doing the job.
In summer when the railway is operating the gate can be open for more than 10 minutes as trains are shunted. Grosmont is the Terminus for most of the services.

In Redcar there is a Crossing right in the middle of town at the end of the station platforms. Barriers come down as a train approaches and the train stops in the station before going over the crossing. That does take about 5 mins.
Starfighter
QUOTE (captain swoop @ Thu, 18 Mar 2010 - 00:12) *
In Redcar there is a Crossing right in the middle of town at the end of the station platforms. Barriers come down as a train approaches and the train stops in the station before going over the crossing. That does take about 5 mins.

Yeah, been first in line waiting for that one...!
Dr Science
QUOTE (scbk @ Wed, 17 Mar 2010 - 02:16) *
QUOTE (Dr Science @ Tue, 16 Mar 2010 - 23:16) *
, or if the danger/congestion warrants it, they could spend a million quid or so on replacing the crossing with a bridge - it has happened.


If you ask Network Rail it apparently costs one million pounds rolleyes.gif just to slap in a set of barriers at a crossing that already has all the lights etc

http://www.johnogroat-journal.co.uk/news/f...r_crossing.html


Well that's the wilds of Scotland, innit?

Cost you half a megaquid in rail tickets just to get the work crew to the site...

Dr.S
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