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Driver dodged under crossing barriers

PUBLISHED: 15:11 26 March 2010 | UPDATED: 16:53 06 July 2010

A MOTORIST has been banned for driving for a year for dodging under the barriers at a level-crossing near Lowestoft.

Magistrates in Lowestoft heard that 25-year-old Paul Sayer drove over the Oulton Broad North level crossing as the barriers were coming down to signal a train was approaching.

A MOTORIST has been banned for driving for a year for dodging under the barriers at a level-crossing near Lowestoft.

Magistrates in Lowestoft heard that 25-year-old Paul Sayer drove over the Oulton Broad North level crossing as the barriers were coming down to signal a train was approaching.

Mitzy Bond, prosecuting, told the court on Monday that amber flashing lights and sirens had been activated on the crossing when Sayer turned out of Commodore Road in a Ford Transit van on October 9 last year.

She said: “A witness saw the lights working and began to slow down with the intention of stopping before the stop signs. As he got level with Commodore Road, the offender drove out and over the crossing against the red lights as the barrier arms were descending.”

James Hartley, for Sayer, said: “As he drove along, there was another car very close behind him and he was rather distracted by that and how close that car was, so when he got to the junction he didn't appreciate where he was or what the situation was with the crossing.

“The red lights were showing, although he had not seen them, and he passed under the barriers as they were closing.”

Sayer, of Lowestoft Road, Worlingham, near Beccles, admitted dangerous driving. He was disqualified from driving for 12 months. He was also given a 12-month community sentence and ordered to complete 100 hours' unpaid work and to pay £30 costs.

British Transport Police have recently carried out a number of high visibility patrol days at the busy Oulton Broad North crossing in an attempt to raise awareness of the potential dangers of level crossings.

PC John Wright, of British Transport Police, said: “For some reason, people don't seem to learn. Drivers often seem to treat the red lights as if they are similar to traffic lights at a junction, but they are entirely different and trains can't stop quickly like modern cars can… We still seem to be catching people taking risks and breaking the law.”

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