A HARD-hitting new campaign aims to stop young people risking their lives on railway lines as alarming new figures reveal a four year high in the number of young people endangering themselves on the region’s railways.
National figures from British Transport Police show that more than a quarter of teenagers (27 per cent) 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 per cent) in the last year.
The number of young people taking risks on the railway track has gone up by almost 80 per cent 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.
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
British Transport Police's (BTP) new campaign — You vs Train — aims to highlight the serious and devastating consequences of ignoring railway warnings.
The campaign includes a short film (above) which shows the dramatic story of Tom Hubbard who suffered major injuries in 2014 when he was electrocuted by overhead power cables.
He suffered third degree burns across 57 per cent of his body.
The film will be launched across social media and shown in cinemas throughout the summer.
Allan Spence, head of public and passenger safety at Network Rail, said: “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 Chief Supt Eddie Wylie 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.”
More information is available at http://www.youvstrain.co.uk/