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Early Breakfast with Jenni Falconer 4am - 6am
2 August 2011, 06:00
Cutting edge camera technology is being introduced by Network Rail and the British Transport Police to catch law breakers at our level crossings across Cambridgeshire.
A purpose-built marked police van has been fitted with nine cameras - each camera can use automatic number plate technology - to try to deter drivers from breaking the law.
Funded by Network Rail and British Transport Police - the patrol van at Foxton is one of just two in the region (the other will be based at Enfield in North London).
It comes just a day after Heart brought you news of a van driver from Trumpington - who's been fined £400 after ignoring the red lights at Foxton level crossing - and sped across the tracks as a train approached.
Alan Dodd was heading towards the crossing in January - when the warning lights began to flash and the barriers began to close.
But the 55 year-old continued to drive his van over the crossing, despite an approaching train on the line.
Mr Dodd's actions cost him the fine + £45 costs after being caught on CCTV and by the Level Crossing operator.
Network Rail have told heart there are 100 incidents every year in Cambridgeshire, 14 near misses and 8 incidents in which a driver has struck the barriers at a crossing in the county.
A year ago, an HGV driver crashed his 44-tonne sewage lorry into the Foxton barriers.
Russell Spink from Network Rail told heart "It costs around £10,000 of public money on average to repair the barriers every time there's an incident - and causes long delays and disruption to passengers and rail companies. Every time there's a problem with the barriers caused by a driver at a level crossing - Network Rail has to pay compensation to the Rail Companies. That money is also funded by the public."
Mr Spink added "We're not prepared to tolerate drivers putting their lives, and their lives of others at risk by jumping the red lights at Foxton and other level crossings in Cambridgeshire - this new camera van will help us and British Transport Police catch offenders".
CAMBRIDGESHIRE INCIDENTS in during last full year (2010)
85 reported incidents of misuse, including
15 incidents of misuse at Stuntney Road crossing in Ely
6 incidents of misuse at Chesterton Fen crossing
5 incidents of misuse at Foxton crossing
5 near misses with pedestrians
9 near misses with vehicles
18 incidents of vehicles striking barriers or other crossing equipment