Drivers have been reminded of the dangers of running the lights at level crossings after a lorry driver who hit barriers in Oakham was sentenced.
Both Network Rail and British Transport Police have left no doubt that people who walk or drive on railway tracks when the barriers are down will face prosecution.
The warning comes after Rafael Pruban, 41, from Yeovil, was given a suspended prison sentence for driving his lorry across the level crossing in Barleythorpe Road while the barriers were coming down on September 29, 2014.
A British Transport Police spokesman said: “Deliberate misuse of crossings is extremely dangerous. Every time someone walks or drives on the tracks when the barriers are down, they are risking their life and the lives of other rail users.
“British Transport Police officers will take action against anyone found committing offences at level crossings.”
Pruban pleaded guilty to dangerous driving when he appeared at Leicester Crown Court on November 30 last year. He was sentenced to six months in prison, suspended for two years, and ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work. He was placed under supervision and disqualified from driving for a year.
Network Rail has since released CCTV footage of the incident in Oakham, which can be seen above.
Nine adults and one child died on level crossings in 2014/15. Network Rail community safety manager Vicki Beadle said: “Level crossing safety is something Network Rail takes very seriously and we work hard to demonstrate to people the importance of using them properly.
“Not only does misuse of level crossings pose a very real threat of serious injury to the public and passengers but it causes immense disruption to when trains are delayed as a result.
“Although it can be frustrating to have to wait for trains to pass through, the message is simple; don’t take a chance at a level crossing.”