NCAFC, the British Transport Police and National Rail are proud to come together once again to show support for the #YouVsTrain Rail Safety Campaign.
Life-saving campaign launched as new figures reveal one teenager risks their life on railway tracks every four hours.
Alarming new figures reveal more than a quarter of teenagers (27%) confess to behaving in a way that could endanger their life on the railway. One in 10 teenagers admitted to walking along the railway line - more than two fifths of those (42%) in the last year.
The number of young people taking risks on the railway track has gone up by almost 80 percent in the last five years. In the last 12 months alone, seven young people under the age of 18 have lost their lives and a further 48 people have received life-changing injuries.
As a result the rail industry and the British Transport Police have launched a new campaign - called ‘You Vs Train’, which targets teenagers to make them face the serious and devastating consequences for them and their loved ones when they make the potentially life-changing decision to ignore warnings and go onto the railway, with its obvious and hidden dangers.
At the heart of the You Vs Train campaign is the story of Tom Hubbard – a young boy who suffered life-changing injuries in 2014 when he was electrocuted by the overhead power cables.
Tom suffered third degree burns across 57% of his body and he has been left to deal with the serious physical and psychological consequences ever since.
The lack of knowledge about the potential dangers seems to be why children choose the tracks as a good place to take risks, with only a third (37%) believing that the railway is extremely dangerous.
- Just under a third (31%) don’t believe that severe burns as a result of electrocution or electrocution by the overhead wires (31%) are risks you might face if you go on the railway tracks
- 15% think that it’s safe to walk on the railway track if you check a timetable to make sure there are no trains coming
- Almost a fifth (17%) think that getting a dropped/lost item (e.g. phone or football) from the railway track is relatively safe as long as you leave again straight away
The new data also highlights some worrying seasonal peaks in the number of incidents, with the summer holidays seeing more than double the number of young risk-takers, compared to the winter months.
Allan Spence, head of public and passenger safety at Network Rail, explains: “Hundreds of people each year unintentionally take on the railway and lose. This year we have already seen a record number of young people losing their life or being injured on the track.
“The railway is full of both obvious and hidden dangers. The electricity on the railway is always on and always dangerous. Trains can also travel up to 125 miles per hour, so even if a driver can see your child, they can’t stop in time and they can’t change direction. Parents - please help us keep your children safe by educating them about what they take on when they step on the track."
BTP Assistant Chief Constable Robin Smith said: “We hope that by sharing Tom’s story, young people who might have previously considered trespassing on the railways will think twice.
“We want his story to be heard – the tracks are not a playground. They’re incredibly dangerous and, as Tom’s story shows, can easily result in serious injury or worse.
“We hope the campaign will help young people to understand the risks, and help them to make the right decision and stay away from railway lines.
Equally, it will also help them understand that bad decisions don’t just affect them, but they will have a deep and lasting impact on their families and friends as well.
This campaign is not just for our young people but also their friends and family.”
The rail industry is also working together to roll out a new schools engagement programme, where community engagement managers from across Network Rail, British Transport Police (BTP) and Train
Operating Companies will be out teaching thousands of children about railway safety. BTP officers will also be stepping-up patrols across the country.
To watch Tom’s video and find out how to keep your children safe on the railway this summer visit: www.YouVsTrain.co.uk