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Driver given suspended sentence for SPAD & resetting ATP

 from: http://www.hertfordshiremercury.co.uk/Train-driver-life-lives-risk-dodged-jail/story-24508253-detail/story.html

A former train driver who “put his life, and the lives of others, at risk” after he ignored safety systems while travelling through Hitchin station has dodged jail. 

Scott Walford, of Haycroft Road in Stevenage, was slapped with a three-month suspended sentence and £500 worth of costs, after he admitted endangering passengers and staff on October 8, in 2013.

Walford was driving the 8.40pm Cambridge to London King’s Cross for the now defunct First Capital Connect when he ignored a red light.

The train’s warning system and automatic brakes kicked in, but Walford deliberately reset the system and continued without getting the all clear.

Additionally Walford failed to set up his secure radio link, which prevented him contacting a signaller.

He was sentenced at Stevenage Magistrates’ Court on Friday after an investigation by the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR).

The probe found Walford failed to take reasonable care of the safety of himself, passengers and other persons who might have been affected by his actions.

Donald Wilson, ORR principal safety inspector, said: “Train drivers hold a position of great responsibility for safety on our railways. They must comply with health and safety law, and work in accordance with their licence and training.

“Mr Walford fell short of these standards, and, in doing so, showed a serious disregard for the safety of his passengers. His actions – ignoring warning signals and systems - could have led to a potentially catastrophic incident. He put his life, and the lives of others, at risk.

“This kind of incident is very rare, but where serious failings are found, those at fault will be held to account by the rail regulator." 

Read more: http://www.hertfordshiremercury.co.uk/Train-driver-life-lives-risk-dodged-jail/story-24508253-detail/story.html#ixzz3JPrLPJUY

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