Shocking near-miss as 'stupidly reckless' moped driver speeds over train tracks a split second before train crosses

1 March 2023, 19:41

The moped crossing the tracks
The moped crossing the tracks. Picture: Network Rail

By Kit Heren

This is the moment a "stupidly reckless" moped driver goes over a level crossing, a split second before a train crosses at 70mph.

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The shocking and criminal incident was caught on CCTV at a railway crossing near Littlehampton, in West Sussex on February 21.

Two people on a moped dodged a barrier to go over the tracks, in a moment officials described as "just split seconds away from a truly catastrophic collision".

The driver had to stop and take a moment to compose himself after the near-miss before carrying on.

The incident took place at Toddington crossing, on a stretch of 70mph railway between Angmering and Ford/Littlehampton at 3.09pm.

The moped crossing the tracks

Lucy McAuliffe, Network Rail’s route director for Sussex, said: “We came very close to having two deaths on our railway last week and a train driver living with the memories of that.

"We try to make our network as safe as possible but we do need people to work with us by paying attention to red lights and barriers.“We need to track these people down and make sure they know the consequences of their actions.”

Inspector Emma Boulton, of the British Transport Police, said: “Put simply – this is some of the most stupidly reckless behaviour on a level crossing I have seen in my entire career. 

"These riders blatantly ignored the red light in front of them and were just split seconds away from a truly catastrophic collision, which I have no doubt would have had fatal consequences. This footage should serve as a very explicit reminder to everyone of the dangers of misusing level crossings.”

The near miss was caught on CCTV
The near miss was caught on CCTV. Picture: Network Rail

Samantha Facey, Southern Railway's Health, Safety & Security Director, said: “This video beggars belief. Today we could be talking about a double death with all the misery and heartache that would cause the bikers’ families and friends. 

“And think of our driver: no-one should have to be put through this trauma and none of our passengers should find themselves put at risk in this way. 

“Sadly, we’ve also seen a rise in young people trespassing on the railway – it’s an incredibly dangerous place so please, please, please keep off the tracks.”

Anyone with information about the incident can contact BTP by texting 61016 quoting log 411 of 21/02/23.

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