Level crossing barrier fell on Heanor woman's car after she failed to notice warning lights

She received six penalty points.
She received six penalty points.

A Heanor driver was excused a roads ban after a level crossing barrier fell on her car when she failed to notice amber warning lights.

Ashleigh Swift's driving caused delays to trams and trains while it left a £448 repair bill near Nottingham, magistrates heard today (Tuesday).

Presiding JP Graham Roseblade told her: "There was the danger and inconvenience to members of the public, not to mention potential danger to yourself and damage to property.

"But we do accept this was a lapse of concentration on your part. Having gone across the white line you panicked and tried to get out of the situation."

Six penalty points were put on her licence and she was warned that another six could lead to a ban.

Mr Roseblade added: "You must be particularly careful.

"We hope you have clearly learnt a very salutary lesson and we are fully confident that we will not see you in court again."

Swift, 23, of Breach Road, replied: "Thank you very much, thank you."

She had pleaded guilty by letter to driving without due care and attention at the St Alban's Road level crossing at Bulwell railway station on January 21.

Swift was ordered to attend court while magistrates decided whether she should be disqualified.

JPs heard a statement which outlined the incident where Swift's car moved forward while yellow warning lights were flashing. As red lights came on, a barrier lowered onto the vehicle.

A passer-by helped to get the barrier off the car but tram and train services were delayed, with the loss estimated at £428 on top of the repair bill. The incident was caught on CCTV.

The court was told that payment should not be ordered by the court but should be left to her insurance company.

Swift was fined £200 with £85 prosecution costs and a government surcharge of £20. She was given a month to pay.

Rory Macmillan, mitigating, told the court: "She is beyond remorse, if that is possible.

"She emphatically was not trying to get through the barrier. She had simply not seen the amber warning lights."

He said Swift was on her way to the Wickes store after looking at kitchens and told the court: "She saw Wickes on the other side of the barrier.

"She was moving at a low speed and everyone acknowledges that. It does not indicate somebody who is trying to get through the barrier."

Swift's job involves driving and she covered 15,000 miles last year.

Mr Macmillan added: "She has no convictions and there have been no problems with her driving at all."