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Ensuring railway safety this summer

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Why safety matters

National Rail and The British Transport Police have launched new figures revealing that every four hours a teenager risks their life on the railway. We are raising awareness to make teenagers aware of the serious and devastating consequences for both them and their loved ones when making the decision to ignore any warning signs and enter onto the railway. The lack of knowledge about potential dangers on the railway seems to be the reason teenagers choose the tracks as a suitable place to take risks, with only one third (37%) believing how dangerous the railway is.

In the past five years, the number of teenagers risking the railway has increased by almost 80%. As well as this, in the last year alone, seven young people have lost their live and an additional 48 people have received life-changing injuries. The summer holidays, in particular, sees a peak in the number of incidents, the number of risk takers doubling during this time.

Real life story

A short film re-enacting Tom’s story has been launched across social media and shown in cinemas throughout the summer. Tom’s family are also featured to show how Tom’s accident has impacted them.

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”.


Watch Tom's story here:


Railway Incident Statistics

  • 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
  • More than a quarter (28%) don’t realise that physical injury from being hit by a train is a risk they would face if they walk on the railway track
  • More than half (54%) don’t think that the sidings (low-speed track running alongside the mainline) are dangerous
  • Almost a fifth (18%) think that there is no risk of being electrocuted unless you touch the main rail track or overhead power cable


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