A MOTORCYCLIST whose new bike was pictured on Facebook parked on a high risk South Cumbria rail line level crossing has been fined.
British Transport Police were alerted on May 28 last year to social media images showing the motorbike at Furness Abbey, near Dalton. At that location – considered “high risk” owing to a nearby bend and tunnel – users must use an on-site phone to gain formal permission to access the crossing.
However, the rider, 42-year-old Stuart Harris Davey, of Blake Street, Barrow, later conceded he hadn’t made such a request. A Facebook caption stated “couple of photos of the new toy”, one image showing Davey’s bike – bought a fortnight earlier – on the crossing.
“If a train comes,” prosecutor Lee Dacre told South Cumbria Magistrates’ Court today (FRI), “there would not be sufficient stopping distance to avoid a collision, which would clearly endanger a person on the crossing but also people on the train.”
Davey, a part-time taxi driver without any previous convictions, admitted a charge of endangering the safety of a person conveyed by railway.
Andy Gallagher, defending, said of Davey: “This is an example of foolishness rather than any deliberate attempt to endanger anyone.
“What he tells me is that he was completely unaware this was, as it were, illegal. He certainly has not set out that day to commit any offences. Clearly he was pleased with his new bike and was going around taking photographs of it. Unfortunately one of these photographs is on the crossing.”
Passing sentence, District Judge Gerald Chalk fined Davey £150, ordered him to pay costs and a surcharge, and observed: “The potential for danger to occur on this occasion was very high. I note, fortunately, no one has suffered.”