British Transport Police has made waves online with its new YouTube series featuring near misses around rail level crossings in the UK, as part of a new campaign to raise awareness to the dangers of rail.
‘Operation Look’ is the BTP’s program aimed at reducing the amount of accidents and near misses that occur every year at level crossings in Britain.
BTP’s YouTube channel has received thousands of views so far this week, as it has uploaded a number of videos from CCTV and other cameras, which have captured nearly catastrophic near-misses at rail crossings.
Also as part of Operation Look, BTP officers will be carrying out additional high-visibility patrols at a number of locations this week, but it’s BTP’s YouTube channel which is getting more attention.
During 2014, 337 motorists failed to obey warning lights or lowering barriers at level crossings in Scotland alone – where the BTP is focusing its awareness operation.
“Many of these drivers had got into the habit of deliberately misusing crossings, with figures showing people of all ages willing to risk their lives to shave a few minutes off their journey,” BTP said.
BTP’s inspector Becky Warren said: “All too often people get into the habit of taking risks at crossings and our message is simple. Use crossings safely.
“It may be tempting to jump a light to shave a minute or two off your journey, but every time you do, you endanger your life and the lives of other road and rail users. Fail to obey the signals and you may also end up with a driving ban or a criminal record. Is it really worth the risk?”
“Level crossings create a risk for people that we want to remove. Where possible we close them, and we have already closed more than 900 in the past five years,” said Darren Furness, head of level crossings for Network Rail, which is joining BTP in the awareness campaign.
“Those we cannot close we aim to make safer and awareness events like these mean we can meet and talk to motorists, cyclists and pedestrians about the dangers and how to stay safe.”