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Last Updated: Wednesday February 04 2009 17:56 GMT

Row over level crossing dangers

Latest level crossing safety campaign

A row's broken out about the safety of level crossings on railways after an increase in the number of people who've been killed on them.

Last year, 15 people died in accidents on the crossings - up from 11 in 2007.

Network Rail, which looks after the crossings, insists they're safe if they're used properly but say about 2,000 people misuse them every year.

But others claim the crossings are dangerous, cause more deaths than train crashes and they want them scrapped.

Now the Office of Rail Regulation has told the BBC it's going to review the guidance for the design of level crossings

There are more than 7,500 level crossings in use across the UK and at many the time between the warning lights starting and the train zooming past is just 27 seconds.

Children's thoughts on level crossings

The ORR says 27 seconds is acceptable, but adds that it doesn't leave much time for any drivers who get into trouble.

Reduce accidents

Network Rail say loads of motorists are seen ignoring warning lights or weaving around the safety barriers every year.

A spokesman said they're trying to find ways to stop people misusing them in an attempt to reduce the number of accidents.

"There are lessons we need to learn but that also goes for the people who use the crossings," he added.