Drivers Go Off the Rails in Wales
The BBC reports on how the number of “near misses” at level train crossings in Wales from drivers who do not see, or willfully disregard the warning, is rising. The harrowing footage is here.
In the case shown, “the motorist admitted dangerous driving, claiming he did not see the flashing lights and failed to notice cars waiting at the crossing.” The article also notes that: “The court heard that his wife had been so traumatised by the experience that the couple had had to move to a nearby town.”
What’s interesting about the report is the stiffness of the fine, higher than many I’ve seen in the U.S. for negligent driving that did cause a crash (this was just a hair’s breadth away from that happening in this case, judging by the video). Of course, with train crossings, one driver’s action could jeopardize the lives of many more people than in a typical traffic scenario (not to mention granting themselves a likely death sentence).
The motorist was given 12 month suspended sentence and ordered to do 180 hours of community service. He was also disqualified from driving, made to take an extended test after 12 months and fined £722.
I’m all for increased driver responsibility but one wonders what design or “nudge” solution there might be for improving safety at these crossings.
This entry was posted on Tuesday, February 10th, 2009 at 8:34 am and is filed under Drivers, Traffic Enforcement, Traffic Engineering. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.