Train Driver Admits Running Red Light Five Times Over Alcohol Limit

Train Driver Admits Running Red Light Five Times Over Alcohol Limit

...By Joseph Benjamin for TDPel Media.

A train driver has admitted to running a red light at a station while being five times over the legal alcohol limit for train operators.


Ian Pickering, aged 56, reported himself after missing the light and was breathalysed, revealing that he was over the drink-driving limit for train drivers.

Pickering, who has been a train driver for 35 years, has pleaded guilty to being a transport worker whose alcohol level exceeded the limit and endangering the safety of a person on a railway.

According to BirminghamLive, police officers were informed of a possible drunk train driver at Birmingham New Street Station.

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After receiving a report of an incident in which a train driver with passengers ran through a red signal and had to be taken off service, officers found that Pickering had blown a reading of 94 microgrammes (mcg) of alcohol in 100 millilitres (ml) of breath, well over the legal limit of 13mcg.

Once at the police station, Pickering recorded a reading of 65mcg in 100ml of breath, which was five times over the limit, and was charged accordingly.

During his interview with police, Pickering claimed that he missed the light due to an issue with the signal and reported the incident himself.

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He also stated that he had been out drinking the night before and had stopped drinking at 1am, but was not aware of the alcohol limit for train drivers.

Pickering will be sentenced in May.

The case of Ian Pickering, who has been a train driver for 35 years, raises serious questions about alcohol and drug testing of train drivers.

As reported by the Office of Rail and Road (ORR), there were 15 instances of drug or alcohol misuse by train drivers and other safety-critical workers on the railway in the year ending March 2020.

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The ORR’s annual report for 2019-20 also revealed that a quarter of train drivers who were dismissed or resigned from their jobs did so because of drug or alcohol misuse.

This highlights the need for strict and regular testing to ensure the safety of passengers and workers on the railway.


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