Thursday, 19 May 2011

Creative Excuses…

This driver had a lucky escape after becoming trapped on a York level crossing moments before a high-speed train sped past only feet from the vehicle.
Darwin loses again…
In 2006 the crossing was highlighted as one of the worst in Yorkshire for drivers risking their lives by dodging the lights and driving over the tracks, although it is not known if this was the cause of Thursday night’s incident.
Not that it’s stopped any of the local councillors in their ‘something must be done!’ mode, of course:
Clifton ward Councillor, Ken King, said when the lights were on amber, drivers must stop.
Yes. Yes, they must, Ken. Thanks for your contribution to today’s collection of statements of the bleedin’ obvious…

Oh, wait. He’s not finished:
However, he said: “It’s no good them (the barriers) coming down when the lights are on amber. Maybe that’s something they should look at. There’s some safety issue there and it needs looking at.”
It might be that the fault is down to the driver of the car, though? And not the railway? Did that occur to you?

It clearly didn’t occur to your fellow councillor, who is going to ridiculous lengths to excuse the motorist on the grounds of ‘distraction’:
Fellow Clifton councillor David Scott said: “There’s a change of speed limit
Yes, so? We don’t have constant speed limits, they change all the time.
… and there’s a bend...
Oooh, a bend!

Again, yes, these happen frequently on the roads, and shouldn’t prove ‘distracting’ to anyone.
… and there’s Nestlé coming up in your sightline. Maybe it’s just too many distractions.”
Ok, what?

The Nestlé factory is ‘a distraction’? To whom, and why? Does it revolve? Flash lights? Offer free chocolate to passing motorists?

And even if it did all of those things, is there any indication that this wasn’t a local driver, expected to be quite used to such a sight?

Someone who knows the area help me out - what is so potentially distracting about a factory that it might make you unaware of the level crossing?

12 comments:

Shinar's Basket Case said...

Jools, you are obviously not up on your 21st Century Pseudo-Science!

Have you never heard of SHS? Second Hand Serotonin ? Nestles is a CHOCOLATE factory and belches carcinogenic vapour across the road.

One whiff and the average driver will either become an instant Fatty ('its my glands) or so 'high' on serotonin that he is no longer safe to drive.

When will they ban this evil stuff? Does no one think of the children?

SadButMadLad said...

The councillor is talking bollocks. Having worked in York (the other side of the Nestle factory) I have used it occasionaly.

It's not a dangerous crossing at all. There is no bad bend, just a slight bend. And the factory cannot be a distraction.

Googlemaps - http://bit.ly/lMi6Rz

Captain Haddock said...

"The councillor is talking bollocks" ...

Quelle surprise .. Who'd have thought it ?

I'm wondering just what connection(s) exist between the motorist involved & the councillor(s) ..

ivan said...

Ah, Captain Haddock, you mean like 'follow the money' only this time it's follow the councillor.

Gibby Haynes said...

I live outside York. That crossing is on my route into the city. I've crossed it thousands and thousands of times. It's lucky I haven't been killed. Oh wait, it's on a straight road with good visibility and I tend not to get distracted by chocolate factories like some sort of drooling manchild.

Blue Eyes said...

"Darwin loses again…"

Yes, but the people on the train weren't delayed, at least.

Shinar's Basket Case said...

"
Yes, but the people on the train weren't delayed, at least."

Dude, they are on a train, an archaic, out dated, overpriced and inefficient mode of transport. According to the OED that's the very definition of the verb 'to be delayed'.

Oh Beeching, that thou should livest at this hour.

banned said...

Wrong, at a level crossing an offence is committed when going through an amber light as many motorists using a similar local crossing find when they are CCTVd and fined for doing so.
Having said that it seems a tad harsh to entrap a motorist and endager his passengers by bringing the actual barrier down before the red.

That picture incidentally is much forshortened and the car was in no danger unless more than one train passed at the same time.

JuliaM said...

"Have you never heard of SHS? Second Hand Serotonin ? "

LOL!

"It's not a dangerous crossing at all. There is no bad bend, just a slight bend. "

They seem to be going to extraordinary lengths to excuse the driver. Do they think Network Rail has money to burn?

"...it's on a straight road with good visibility and I tend not to get distracted by chocolate factories like some sort of drooling manchild."

:D

"That picture incidentally is much forshortened and the car was in no danger unless more than one train passed at the same time."

Yes, the comments were quite vociferous on that point! :)

KenS said...

... the car was in no danger unless more than one train passed at the same time.

Que? Do you think trains dodge round each other when they pass, or something? Either the car is clear of the track or it ain't!

Longrider said...

All modernised level crossings have a parliamentary order that is a derogation from the Railways Act that requires the railway to be fenced off. This is peculiar to the UK system. Other countries seem to take the view that if you stray onto the railway line and get killed, well, that's your lookout...

The parliamentary order will have taken into account the time from when the crossing is first triggered - either automatically as in the case of AHBs or by the signaller or crossing keeper in the case of manual crossings. This is to ensure that there is sufficient time for the crossing to be clear of road traffic by the time the train passes over it.

On average, this will be about thirty seconds - most of those I inspected were around that timing. This is plenty of time for a driver approaching on the amber to be across before the red and the barriers are down. Nothing, therefore, needs doing.

To reiterate what others have said, the councillor is talking bollocks.

Longrider said...

Having said that it seems a tad harsh to entrap a motorist and endager his passengers by bringing the actual barrier down before the red.

This is an automatic process - on the AHBs a treadle on the track sets off the system and the times are set within the mechanism of the crossing controls.

For manual crossings, the signaller or crossing keeper observes the crossing and presses the "crossing clear" button which allows the the barriers to come down - also triggering the red lights.

If someone tries to jump the lights, the signaller can stop the process. On an AHB, nothing can stop it as the train has already passed the protecting signal.