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Rail crossing mobility scooter death sparks safety review

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The death of an elderly man whose mobility scooter was struck by a train has sparked calls for better safety at level crossings.Derek Thomas, 83, died at Alice Holt crossing in Bentley, Hampshire, while walking his dog on 5 October last year.An investigation found Mr Thomas started to cross when it was not safe.The Rail Accidents Investigation Branch (RAIB) recommended Network Rail review and modify some level crossings to improve visibility for scooter users.Its report said it was probable Mr Thomas did not see the train or misjudged when it would arrive, possibly due to sun glare.His ability to see the train was limited by the crossing’s design, in particular the fencing, and he did not react to the train’s horn, possibly because he did not hear it, it added.The RAIB said Network Rail’s guidance for level crossing managers did not include any advice concerning mobility scooters.It recommended the company review all its “passive” crossings – where users are required to look and listen for trains – to consider people using mobility scooters.It said modifications had already been implemented at Alice Holt footpath.
Source: BBC Hamp