A shocking video has been released by Network Rail showing children risking their lives at a Hertfordshire level crossing.
There have been a number of incidents of deliberate misuse recently at the Cotton Mill level crossing in St Albans, which sees around 60 trains per day cross it between St Albans Abbey and Watford Junction.
More than 1,000 people per day use the crossing, and during nine days of monitoring earlier in the year, four near misses with trains were recorded and there were over 300 incidents of deliberate misuse.
Priti Patel, head of safety for the London North Western route at Network Rail, said: “We are concerned about repeated dangerous behaviour at Cotton Mill level crossing and the number of near misses that have been recorded.
“We cannot stress enough the danger cyclists, pedestrians and motorists are placing themselves in when they don’t use a crossing safely. A split second decision can have life changing consequences, not only for those involved, but also for their family and friends, train drivers and railway workers.
"Please - never take chances when using level crossings and if you have any concerns always contact Network Rail or British Transport Police."
Inspector Becky Warren, from the British Transport Police (BTP), said: “The children in the CCTV are the lucky ones as they were able to leave the crossing unscathed. Sadly there are people who have not been as fortunate, and I have had the heart breaking job of telling families that their loved one has been killed at crossings or on the tracks.
“Despite our constant warnings about using crossings safely and the dangers of the railway, incredibly some people are still willing to put their lives on the line by ignoring crossing instructions, not looking properly or by trying to dash across crossings when trains are approaching.
"Most accidents are as a result of impatience; not being prepared to wait and trying to beat the train. People risk their lives thinking it won’t happen to me, but it can and it does and it’s simply not worth the risk.”