Motorist jailed after jumping red light

A MOTORIST who overtook three stationary cars at a Suffolk railway crossing and just managed to get under the barriers before they came down has been jailed for four months.

Jane Hunt

A MOTORIST who overtook three stationary cars at a Suffolk railway crossing and just managed to get under the barriers before they came down has been jailed for four months.

Rickie Brown had been “in a hurry” when he ignored flashing red lights at the Oulton Broad north level crossing near Lowestoft during the evening rush-hour, Ipswich Crown Court heard yesterday.

Three cars on the north side of the crossing had come to a halt after a signalman activated amber warning lights followed by red flashing lights at 5.50pm on March 31 last year, said Michael Crimp, prosecuting.

Brown, who was driving a BMW, had come up behind the stationary cars and overtaken them before nipping under the barriers. “He just got under,” said Mr Crimp.

The signalman had made a note of Brown's registration number and he had later been interviewed by the police about the incident.

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Brown, 30, of Mimosa Walk, Lowestoft, admitted dangerous driving and failing to answer bail.

Jailing him for four months, Judge John Holt said “The amber lights were on and three cars in front of you stopped. The red lights came on and as the barrier started to go down you chose to overtake and go across that railway crossing. It had the potential for a very serious accident.

“You accept that what you did was deeply foolish. I would say it was something that was deeply dangerous and ran the risk of a very serious accident.”

Matthew McNiff, for Brown, said his client had been co-operative with the police and had pleaded guilty to the offence at the first opportunity.

He said Brown had been in a hurry and what he had done was “deeply foolish”.

He said the level crossing in question suffered from similar incidents from time to time and on this occasion no real inconvenience was caused to other motorists.

Mr McNiff said the matter was Brown's first driving offence and he was currently in work.

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