Rail crash car driver escapes ban
AN ELDERLY Suffolk driver has avoided a driving ban despite causing a train crash on a level crossing.The 83-year-old was fined £1,500 after he admitted driving into an unmanned level crossing on the East Suffolk line as a train approached.
AN ELDERLY Suffolk driver has avoided a driving ban despite causing a train crash on a level crossing.
The 83-year-old was fined £1,500 after he admitted driving into an unmanned level crossing on the East Suffolk line as a train approached.
No one was hurt in January's accident which happened just yards from Woodbridge station – but it highlighted the dangers of open crossings and disrupted services on the line for most of the day.
Peter Hill, of Green Man Way, Woodbridge, said he was pleased to keep his driving licence.
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"I am just so relieved to have got this all over," said the pensioner who regularly drives to see his daughter in Oxford.
The accident happened as Hill was driving up to Haywards Level Crossing shortly after 9.30am on January 28.
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Hill failed to stop and his silver Seat hit an Anglia passenger train travelling at about four or five miles an hour.
Stephen Coleman, prosecuting, told South East Suffolk Magistrates Court on Thursday that Hill drove his car across the level crossing just as the train was passing.
Although a collision occurred, no one was injured and no significant damage was caused to either the train or the car.
Hill admitted all four charges of endangering railway passengers, obstructing the railway, careless driving and failing to comply with a traffic sign.
Marc Brown, mitigating, said that Hill had not seen the warning lights.
He said: "The sun was low in the sky and so he did not see the lights because of the bright sun. It was windy and that drowned out the sounds of the audio signal.
"He accepts full responsibility for the accident and that is why he pleaded guilty."
Hill was fined £1,500, was ordered to pay £55 costs and has had his driving licence endorsed with six penalty points.