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Warning over Oulton Broad level crossing

PUBLISHED: 08:47 25 February 2009 | UPDATED: 22:36 05 July 2010

TRANSPORT police have renewed a call for people to take heed of the potential dangers of level crossings after two motorists were fined on Monday.

Megan Birch and Derrick Whyte were both in court after admitting failing to comply with signs at the Oulton Broad North level crossing in separate incidents last year.

TRANSPORT police have renewed a call for people to take heed of the potential dangers of level crossings after two motorists were fined on Monday.

Megan Birch and Derrick Whyte were both in court after admitting failing to comply with signs at the Oulton Broad North level crossing in separate incidents last year.

Birch, of Yarmouth Road, Lowestoft, drove over the crossing when the red lights were flashing to signal the barriers were about to come down as a train was approaching on September 3 last year.

The 20-year-old pleaded guilty to the offence by letter, and magistrates in Lowestoft ordered her to pay £145 in fines and costs. Her driving licence was endorsed.

Derrick Whyte, from Lochgelly in Fife, Scotland, also pleaded guilty by letter to a charge of failing to comply with a traffic sign at the crossing.

Whyte, 61, was driving a low loader which was being escorted through Oulton Broad on August 4 last year when he had to stop on the crossing because of the amount of traffic.

He was stuck on the level crossing - parked across the yellow hatched markings - until the traffic cleared a couple of minutes later. Magistrates yesterday fined Whyte £120.

Sgt Andy Cook from the British Transport Police said: “We have seen numerous offences committed there over the last year. People just do not seem to appreciate the dangers of the level crossing and they view it like traffic lights for road traffic, and try to put their foot down to get across rather than brake and wait.

“We've recently had some very dangerous incidents recorded at Oulton Broad North.”

The prosecutions came just a fortnight after figures from Network Rail revealed there were nearly 500 incidents on East Anglia's rail lines and crossings last year - including 20 collisions and 15 deaths - as the number of people dodging the barriers reached a five-year high.

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