Clause 66 - Part III of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 (c. 53)

Part of Railways and Transport Safety Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 9:15 am on 27th February 2003.

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Photo of John Spellar John Spellar Minister of State (Department for Transport) 9:15 am, 27th February 2003

That does not take a great part of the British Transport police's time, but the BTP is concerned about level crossings and, in particular, deterring motorists from committing offences. In 2001–02, there were 27 recorded train incidents at level crossings and three fatalities when trains struck road vehicles. There are some 8,100 level crossings on the national rail network, and 725 of them are in Scotland.

In early 2000, Network Rail in Scotland, together with the BTP, introduced red light enforcement cameras at eight level crossings. One crossing camera alone was activated 1,191 times in the 15 months after it was installed. Some 83 per cent. of camera activations have resulted in prosecutions. The good news is that there has been a rapid decrease in the initially high figure for the number of activations at that site. Other areas in the vicinity of stations are also covered by cameras.

The prime purpose of the clause is to enable the BTP and to regularise its position with regard to the level crossings that provide the interface between the road network and the rail network, for which the BTP is responsible.