Parents and carers are being urged to hammer home the railway safety message – ‘keep off the tracks’ – ahead of the schools’ shut-down as ‘holidays’ always see a spike in railway trespass, often with horrendous consequences for children and their families.
More than 13,500 trespass incidents occur on the rail network each year, a quarter of which involve young people.
Allan Spence, head of public and passenger safety at Network Rail said: “Easter holidays and the clocks going forward are the start of the peak for railway trespass and with schools now closed for an extended period, I’m really worried that the railway will become an irresistible but catastrophic playground for young people.
“Each year, we see hundreds of people taking risks on and around the railway, resulting in tragic consequences and life-changing injuries.
“Please talk to your children, access our free school railway safety lessons and help us to help protect young people. It’s straightforward: everyone loses if you choose to step on the track.”
Network Rail and British Transport Police run a hard-hitting safety campaign – You Vs Train, which highlights the devasting consequences of trespassing on the railway.
With the early closure of schools, parents have the opportunity to sign up for free online tutorials of the You Vs Train railway safety lessons, which are normally broadcast into schools via the rail industry’s educational partner LearnLive; visit https://learnliveuk.com/trespass-awareness-week/ for more details.
Important messages for parents and carers to share with children:
- The rail network is never switched off. Electricity powers the overhead cables and third rail 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- Passenger services are not the only users of the rail network. Freight trains run all through the day and night.
- Never anticipate that you know when the next train is due. Fewer passenger trains running on the rail network allows more freight services to operate during the day, transporting vital goods around the country. A freight train can travel at up to 100mph
Further information on rail safety can be found at www.youvstrain.co.uk
Photo credit: Network Rail