back to article Satnav driver's car totalled by train

A 20-year-old student had a narrow escape when her satnav directed her to drive onto a remote level crossing, resulting in the unplanned destruction of the car by a train. According to the BBC, Paula Ceely had borrowed her boyf's satnav for a trip from Redditch, Worcestershire, to Carmarthenshire. She recounted: "Obviously I …


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Rail crossings are always red box junctions

The rules of the road quite clearly state that red box junctions should NEVER be entered unless your exit path is clear - the reasons for which are blindingly obvious (and demonstrated by the destruction of her car). There are no exceptions to this rule (by contrast, yellow box junctions allow you to sit on them if you are waiting to turn right, but you're blocked by oncoming traffic).

She's quite clearly at fault for not following the rules of the road - satnav or no satnav. Common sense doesn't even enter into it either - she WILL have been taught this if she passed her driving tests. Here's the interesting question: Did she?



Getting too many crashes on Level-crossings for my liking

I´m shocked that there are still so many level crossings out there that mean that so many people are led into danger by badly signed crossings like the one mentioned here. I think that the Government should step in and kick the backside of Network Rail in the trouble areas where crossings aren't signed properly.

Either that, or as one ex-colleague once joked "it would be better if the whole rail network was tarmacked and allowed cars to run on the old routes instead.

Admittedly that would mean that so many more cars would fill the newly created roads, but if it meant that "rail mentality" could be stamped out then it would make a lot of sense.

It would get rid of the cost of maintenance of the powered sections of track, exhaustive engineer inspection carried out every week on 99% of all track on the public network.

might mean that there would be less cars on the roads for a while though, due to more space used.

Government should give it a thought...

Anonymous Coward

Dumb and dumber

It's just a sign of the times people. As more and more idiots watch more and more 'reality TV' they lose more and more practical skills. It will soon be time to plug these people in Matrix-style so they can enjoy their soma & TV without ever venturing into the 'wild' again.



[quote]Right, I've had enough of this nonsense..., sir, are a twat.

8pm in February? Headlights on, do we think? Or was she using the Force?

So she blindly following the satnav, is too thick to recognise the signage (as already cleared up) and stops at the gates. Lights on green or red? Who's to know - she certainly won't be answering THAT question!

Anyway, the gates open outwards i.e. towards the car. How can I say that? Because if you LOOK at the picture, you can see the sodding hinges against the gatepost. So she opens the gates, gets back in the car and drives onto the crossing. I would of assumed that the tracks would of been picked up in the car headlights, or that she might of noticed them going back to close the gates, or EVEN again crossing both rails to open the other gates. But, alas, no.[/quote]

1) Sir/Madam post with your name!

2) To open the gate she would have to move the car back a fair way, as the gate swings out. Then could have only notice the tracks once moved onto them. Add to fact the boyfriend stated it was raining (unproven), which also helps hinder her vision.

3) We also dont know which side she was coming from. There looks like a T-Junction one side (Ref 1) and the other side is a long straight road (Ref 2). I did look on google maps but didnt find any indication of a t-junction, google didnt recognise Ffynongain, but there is a Ffynongain Road (Searching for St Clears).

Ref 1:

Ref 2:

People could be assuming that she was crossing on the side the totalled car had been left...

4) As to the boyfriend idea, I just like to think about both sides before making judgement, and to be honest only her and the train were there that night and unless she confesses, we only have conjecture.

5) Its always fun to be columbo.


Well Ohhh Duhhhh

I used to work in the railways repairing locomotives that have punched holes through semi's (big rigs) at level crossings...

More often than not, it was a simple case of running out with a tin of paint and a brush...

Locomotive 1. Truck / Car / people / live stock etc. 0.

So I tend to get hysterically angry and want to scream at people... "How can you be soooo fucking stupid????"

When a big 120 tonne diesel loco, with 2000 tones of freight behind it, hits a car.. it's much the same as a BIG 22lb sledge hammer, hitting a little flat tin of sardines.

The light weight passenger trains are not that much less effective....


She should be dragged out and have the crap beaten out of her with a big stick.


This is as kind as I can get.


silly bint

nuff said

Anonymous Coward

Well done Renault

So you can smash the front off a Clio with a 200 ton train and the windscreen still remains intact?

How about that for structural integrity? Surely that's an example of excellent design - perhaps they have blondes (relax ladies, I am blond) in France too.


Just a few minor points.

Living about 500 yards from the crossing, I have a few answers for all of you.

1. Yes there is lighting on that crossing from the side she was coming from.

2. The tracks are perfectly visible from the road, whether it's raining, night or day as they are raised slightly in the manner of most railway lines.

3. Yes the gates open outwards, but that in itself suggests that both should be opened, thick cow.

4. The car could not be seen early enough by the train as the line goes round a corner from both directions, and they generally go through this area at around 70mph.

5. The lights signalling oncoming trains are placed about 3/400 metres away from the crossing (around the bend) so as to leave enough time for the train to slow down.

6. The crossing is designed as it was back in the early days of rail travel in the UK, it was safe then, it is safe now - it's only that people like this stupid woman don't have any common sense that these accidents happen.

7. The photo that most of you are looking at is from the oppoisite direction to that which she was travelling. The signs from that side are not as noticible, however, still clearly state that it is a railway crossing and that you must open BOTH gates (it says both in capitals) before crossing.

8. The line is the main line between Cardiff and Fishguard. It has about two trains every hour so whoever said "two-trains-a-day" needs to look up his facts first.

9. The original article in the local rags, and from what one of the Network Rail blokes told me (who had been called out of his cosy home to check the train over before it went on its way), she originally claimed that she had got confused, and took the road because it was raining (which it was, by the way). No mention was made either to the network rail guy who was there that night, nor in the paper, of the SatNav until over two weeks later after a much more serious accident occured in England.

10. Has anybody considered how many people actually use that crossing? Shall I tell you? Ok, I will: It is not a private crossing, as some have suggested, it is a public crossing, and it shaves off about 2 minutes off a different route if, and I say this with extreme emphasis, you have another person with you to open the gates, and it is clear weather(which she didn't, and it wasn't). In that situation she would have been at her boyfriend's village in about half an hour maximum, rather than the 2 or 3 hours it probably actually took her after her act of stupidity. The crossing is used only by two groups of people, A) locals, and B) Tourists following their satnavs. And for you Americans out there acting all high and mighty saying that you would have taken the shorter route... I happen to know that a large percentage of the tourists that use that crossing are Americans, and ALL of them ignore the signs, and seem to think that it is only a siding. I have once sat by the crossing, and seen an american sit on the tracks watchin a pretty bird further down the line. How do I know he was American? He was from L.A. visiting the Dylan Thomas Boathouse in Laugharne.



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