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Extraordinary images of a driver lifting boom gates at a major Melbourne level crossing has prompted a warning from Victoria's police chief.

The incident was captured on a mobile phone by a shocked driver at a notorious level crossing in Glenroy.

The footage shows the man lifting a level crossing boom gate as cars rush across the tracks.

Shocked witness Nikki Gosetti told Seven News: "I thought I was going to see someone get hit by a train, I honestly did. There were trains coming from both sides."

Witnesses say the gates were stuck for some time, and drivers had become frustrated.

All too aware ignoring signals can have potentially deadly consequences, the incident has sparked the interest of Victoria's Police Chief Commissioner Ken Lay.

He warns such actions, be it a moment of madness or sheer desperation, can result in jail or even death.

"If this person is putting the broader community or himself at risk, we'll take the necessary action," he told Channel Seven reporter Allan Raskall.

Reckless endangerment by lifting a boom gate could result in ten years jail, while motorists who recklessly enter a level crossing can lose their licence or have their car impounded.

Locals say the crossing causes major headaches during the morning and evening peak hours.

Some claim it takes so long for gates to open and the lights to turn green that it's quicker to walk where they're going.

Local resident Mary Jenkins said: "They need to upgrade the operations of the boom gates and the lights - they're not in sync."

Authorities and locals are now urging patience at level crossings.