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Thursday, 2 May, 2002, 05:54 GMT 06:54 UK
Drivers spark level crossing fears
Level crossing
Drivers are ignoring the red warning lights
A village in the Highlands has the worst safety record in Scotland for drivers ignoring red lights at level crossings, it has been claimed.

The Garve crossing in Easter Ross, on the Inverness to Kyle, line is only activated eight times a day.

However, 49 drivers have already triggered cameras this year by driving through the red warning lights.

This represents a 350% increase on the same period last year.

Railtrack said those responsible were posing a major safety risk.

Drivers who run a red light at a rail crossing not only endanger themselves, but also all those on the train

John Munro MSP

The company's director Janette Anderson described the figures as "unbelievable".

She urged drivers to use the crossing safely and reduce the risk of accidents.

"Level crossings are there to ensure members of the public can safely cross the railway," she said.

"Rules are in place for this reason and it is unbelievable that such a high number of motorists using the crossing at Garve are clearly ignoring the signs, acting irresponsibly and seriously endangering not only their life, but also the lives of others.

"We are constantly stressing the importance of crossing safely and are appealing to drivers who regularly use this crossing to work with us and adhere to the rules to reduce the risk of a potential catastrophic accident.

"There is no excuse for these offences which pose a very real safety risk."

'Very concerned'

Garve is one of eight level crossings in Scotland equipped with special cameras which are activated by any motorist crossing the rail line while the red warning signal is flashing.

The unit photographs the vehicle and all incidents are reported to the Procurator Fiscal.

The Liberal Democrat MSP for Ross, Skye and Inverness West, John Munro, said: "I'm very concerned by this news.

"Drivers who run a red light at a rail crossing not only endanger themselves, but also all those on the train.

"I will be writing to Highland Council, Railtrack, and Northern Constabulary to ask that a quick solution can be found to this potentially very dangerous situation."

See also:

03 Dec 01 | Scotland
Safety call after rail death
06 Sep 01 | Scotland
Death toll rises on railways
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