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Fined over level crossing offence

PUBLISHED: 10:13 09 December 2008 | UPDATED: 21:59 05 July 2010

A Lowestoft motorist has been fined after driving across a level crossing as a train approached - the latest in a number of drivers ignoring warnings on a busy stretch of road.

A Lowestoft motorist has been fined after driving across a level crossing as a train approached - the latest in a number of drivers ignoring warnings on a busy stretch of road.

Susan King, of Lorne Road, admitted driving over the Oulton Broad North level crossing when the lights were flashing to signal that a train was on its way.

Lowestoft magistrates court heard yesterday that King, 52, drove her Ford Fiesta over the train track at about 8.30pm on July 30. Although the barriers had not come down to close off the track, the red warning lights were flashing.

Yvonne Blake, defending, said that King was waiting to turn out of Commodore Road and pulled out when she saw a gap in the on-coming traffic.

“She saw a car indicating to her that she could get out, and then she saw lights flashing and realised that if she did not cross then she would be stuck on the crossing. It would've been more dangerous to stop than to carry on,” said Ms Blake.

Chairman of the bench David Field said: “You were fortunate. If you had been just a few second later then the train would certainly have done its nasty deed.”

King was ordered to pay a £60 fine and £60 costs and her licence will be endorsed with three penalty points

This incident is the latest in a spate of similar cases to be heard in Lowestoft regarding motorists driving over the Oulton Broad North crossing, which dissects one of the main routes into the town centre and there are often long queues along Bridge Road when the crossing barriers come down.

Earlier this year, the British Transport Police said a growing number of drivers were failing to take heed of the warning lights at Oulton Broad North.

Three motorists were caught ignoring the warnings of an oncoming train during just one week in August, while there were 28 convictions for drivers who failed to stop in the previous year.

On Friday, another Lowestoft motorist was banned from driving for 12 months after admitting pulling out from a queue of traffic to swerve around the barriers at the same level crossing.

Michael Fox, 23, of Cowslip Crescent, pleaded guilty to a charge of dangerous driving and was banned from driving for 12 months, ordered to carry out 260 hours of unpaid work and to pay £60 costs when he appeared at Lowestoft magistrates court.

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