‘Absolutely pathetic’ - Suffolk police and crime commissioner hits out at £200 fine for driver who ignored lights at Lowestoft level crossing
- Credit: Archant
The driver of a car which was caught on video driving over a level crossing as the barriers came down has received a £200 fine and three points on their licence,
The offence at the level crossing in Victoria Road, Oulton Broad was recorded on a dashcam by Paul Whitlow at about 1.20pm on Thursday, August 4.
The punishment has been branded 'pathetic' by Suffolk Police and Crime Commisioner Tim Passmore, who said it would not act as a deterrent and he was concerned at 'too many cases of rather weak sentencing for drivers who deliberately break the law.'
Mr Whitlow's video provoked shock and anger after it was posted on Facebook, where it has been viewed 607,828 times.
It shows a white Land Rover overtaking in a 30mph zone in Victoria Road shortly before getting caught in a queue at the level crossing before the lights start flashing to indicate the barriers are about to come down so a train can pass.
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Not prepared to wait, the driver undertakes the waiting cars using a narrow gap in the road and drives over the level crossing just as the barriers come down, narrowly avoiding getting trapped in the path of the train.
A British Transport Police spokesman said: 'The driver of the vehicle was identified and issued with a fixed penalty notice (FPN) which includes three points on licence and a £200 fine.'
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The spokesman said the FPN had been issued by post and the driver had not been taken to court, meaning their identity would not be made public.
By comparison, a driver caught travelling at 35mph in a 30mph zone by police would face a minimum of a £100 penalty and three points on their licence or attend court.
Mr Passmore said: 'Absolutely pathetic, it sends out all the wrong signals and certainly does not act as a deterrent.
'The actions of this driver were grossly irresponsible and reckless in the extreme; a £200 fine and three points simply does not reflect the seriousness of this shocking incident.'
He added, 'I am getting rather concerned that there seems to be too many cases of rather weak sentencing for drivers who deliberately break the law.'