The number of motorists trying to beat the security barriers at level crossings increased by 15 per cent in 2010, Network Rail says.

The company is urging people to change their behaviour at level crossings as pedestrians and drivers are breaking the law on a daily basis.

While such dangerous action can disrupt rail services, the most unfortunate suffer fatal consequences.

There were 3,446 recorded incidents of people misusing level crossings across Britain last year, but Network Rail says the real figure is likely to be much higher.

The number of near misses was also up; however, collisions with trains halved from 14 in 2009 to seven in 2010.

Deaths were also down from 13 to four.

"Too many motorists continue to break the law by jumping the lights or swerving around barriers at level crossings," Network Rail's director of operations and customer service Robin Gisby said.

"Hundreds of pedestrians are also risking their lives just trying to save a few seconds – it's just not worth it."

In response to the number of incidents, Network Rail and the British Transport Police are piloting camera technology to reduce disruption across Wessex, Sussex and Kent.ADNFCR-3337-ID-800395413-ADNFCR