YOUNGSTERS are being urged not to dice with death on the region’s railways this summer.
Alarming new figures from Network Rail and British Transport Police reveal trespass incidents are at all-time high with 588 incidents reported regionally last year -and over 8,000 across Britain.
Young people are more likely to risk the tracks – with incidents peaking during spring and summer school holidays. Last year 58 children were caught trespassing in the region, with boys aged 14 to 16 the chief culprits.
Nick Jordan, Network Rail community safety manager, said: “Every April we see a huge rise in the number of people taking a risk on the rail network and it’s worrying that these numbers seem to be going up.
“Britain has the safest railway in Europe but still too many people lose their lives on the tracks. The dangers may not always be obvious but the electricity on the railway is always on and trains can travel up to 125 miles per hour, so even if they see you, they can’t stop in time.
“It may seem harmless to take a shortcut, or fun to play on the tracks, but this is not only illegal, it is also very dangerous. Taking a short cut or messing around on the tracks can result in serious life-changing injuries or death.”
A new campaign – ‘Tackling Track Safety’ – has been launched in a bid to highlight the dangers to youngsters.
Network Rail has also joined forces with children’s charity Barnardo’s to deliver safety events in high trespass area..
Visit www.networkrail.co.uk/trespass for further details.