DRIVERS are being warned to be patient at busy level crossings after “absolutely mindless” drivers jumped two red lights in the same day.

Network Rail has released footage showing a careless driver ignoring the red lights at the Manningtree crossing on September 10 in Ipswich Road.

He drives at speed through the lights, which were flashing to indicate that the barrier was about to come down, and nearly drives into the back of a queue of

waiting traffic before speeding off.

The same footage also shows a second car pulling into the right-hand lane - over double white lines - from a queue of traffic.

The second incident happened on the same day at the East Gates crossing in Colchester.

This time, a car went through the red flashing lights and a second driver dangerously raced across the tracks swerving around the barriers as they were lowering.

The drivers’ dangerous behaviour has drawn criticism.

Rupert Lown, Network Rail Anglia’s director of safety, said: “Level crossings if not used properly can be dangerous due to the fast-moving trains.

“Barriers and lights are there to protect drivers from the oncoming trains which travel up to 100 mph on those particular lines.

“Drivers should not be risking their lives and the lives of others by ignoring red lights and racing to get through the barriers.

“I would urge drivers to be patient at the crossings.

“These drivers were extremely lucky no-one was injured, but the outcome could be very different next time.”

Tendring councillor for Manningtree Carlo Guglielmi also condemned the drivers’ “absolutely mindless” act of jumping red lights.

He said: “I firmly believe idiots like this should have their driving licences taken away.

“It’s absolutely mindless, and the drivers risk other people’s lives.

“It’s all about trying to beat the queue at Manningtree crossing and it’s an ongoing problem.”

Mr Guglielmi said there is no excuse for this behaviour.

“What should we do with people like this?” he added.

“It’s so reckless. These drivers have shown such a disregard to other people’s lives for the sake of trying to get somewhere a few minutes quicker.”

Mr Guglielmi is meeting with Tendring Police’s Chief Inspector Lily Benbow to discuss the issue.