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Continental style half barrier railway crossings are common in rural areas and generally have a good safety record.

However, each year there are a number of well publicised accidents at such crossings, including a recent one in this area, almost invariably caused by drivers using them incorrectly.

ALL such crossings have a telephone prominently placed nearby which is connected to the nearest signal box

If your car stops on the crossing, for any reason:

  • Get yourself and all passengers out and clear IMMEDIATELY
  • ALWAYS use the phone to warn the signalman
  • ONLY after giving a warning and ensuring that the line is clear in both directions, post someone to watch both ways and re-enter the car.
  • If it does not re-start on the third turn of the key, get out of it and stay out.
  • If the engine is dead, the car can usually be moved on the starter for a short distance. Engage second gear and keep the ignition key turned all the way on to keep the car moving. It's slow but it works.
  • NEVER attempt to push the car clear of the barriers, in your panic you may not see the approaching express until too late.
  • NEVER attempt to zig zag across a closed or closing set of barriers. Many of these barriers have only a minimal time lag between the barriers closing and the train arriving so as to cause the least disruption to traffic. This game of chicken may be your last.

If you are driving a long vehicle - over 20 feet in length ALWAYS use the phone to alert the signalman.

 

Article © Graham Benge

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