Bridgend driver banned for three years after almost striking pedestrian on level crossing
A DRIVER has been hit with a three-year driving ban after jumping a red light and weaving around level crossing barriers — almost striking a pedestrian.
Patricia Ann King, of Brook Vale, Pencoed, Bridgend, had denied dangerous driving but was found guilty following a trial at Cardiff Crown Court.
The 69-year-old was sentenced to six months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months.
She was also ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid community work and faces paying £750 prosecution costs.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, May 26 2013
King will also have to pass an extended driving test after she completes her three-year driving ban.
The court heard King had been driving her silver Mercedes A-Class towards Pencoed level crossing on Hendre Road, Pencoed, when the automatic barriers began lowering.
She then overtook a Ford pick-up truck which was waiting at the crossing and went on to weave through the barriers while the warning lights were flashing and the alarms sounding.
King almost struck a pedestrian who was crossing the road on the other side of the track, during the incident which happened around 11.30am on Friday, March 16, 2012.
Two passenger trains went through moments later.
One of the shocked people travelling inside the Ford pick-up described King’s driving as “reckless and extremely dangerous — it was total and utter stupidity.”
A signalman working at the Port Talbot signal box saw what happened via CCTV.
He went onto confirm Pencoed level crossing was fully operational and in perfect working order on the day of the incident.
King admitted to being the owner and driver of the silver Mercedes A-Class, and revealed she had been running late for an appointment.
The case was brought to court following an investigation by British Transport Police.
PC Dave Miles, the officer in charge of the investigation, said: “King’s actions were reckless and extremely dangerous, and the severity of the sentence shows just how seriously the courts take this type of crime.
“Her driving not only endangered her own life but also the lives of others — no one more so than the pedestrian she very nearly collided with. “Quite clearly, level crossing misuse is just not worth the few seconds you might save.
“We continue to work closely with Network Rail to raise awareness and educate those who use level crossings on the dangers of misuse.”
He added: “Drivers who willingly flout the law and place themselves and others in danger should be in no doubt that if caught doing so, they will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”