A father-of-three from Bradford has been banned from driving for 18 months after he tried to run a red light and got his vehicle trapped between barriers at a level crossing, sparking scenes of “panic and chaos” as a train approached.
Elderly people and children were among up to six people who got out of the vehicle when it got stuck on Kildwick crossing at Cross Hills, near Keighley, with the automated barriers down.
Jawad Hassan, who has three young children, was sentenced for driving dangerously at the busy crossing on Saturday, August 20, last year.
Bradford Crown Court heard how a family outing to visit relatives turned to “panic and chaos” when Hassan, 32, of Lister View, Manningham, Bradford, tried to run the red flashing lights at 2.14pm in his full people carrier.
CCTV footage showing children and elderly people fleeing from the Seat Alhambra and Hassan smashing the vehicle through the barriers to safety were shown in court.
Prosecutor Howard Shaw said motorist Stuart Shackleton, who had stopped at the crossing, helped Hassan’s elderly passengers to safety.
It cost £2,195 to repair the barriers.
Hassan told the police: “I did not mean to cross the barriers. I knew it was wrong. It just happened.”
His barrister, Khadim Al’Hassan, said he was of positive good character, without even a speeding ticket.
His wife was in poor health and one of their children was disabled.
“He had a full car of passengers and, immediately they got out, panic set in,” Mr Al’Hassan said. “It was silly and foolish but not deliberate.”
The judge, Recorder Michael Smith, sentenced Hassan to nine months’ imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, with 150 hours of unpaid work.
He was banned from driving for 18 months and must take an extended retest before getting back behind the wheel.