Warning over kids 'playing' on tracks

Published Friday, 08 August 2014
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Parents are being warned over the dangers of railway lines after young children were spotted playing 'chicken' on the tracks.

Translink say that trains are not easily halted as they travel at up to 90mph, weigh up to 400 tonnes and have a stoppage distance of up to one mile.

Ian Campbell, Head of Rail Operations at Translink, said that young children were climbing over fences, to get onto the tracks.

"These children are dicing with death.

"The network can look like a handy shortcut or a good place to play, but the risks are just not worth it."

There was a total of three trespass incidents on tracks in the last week - including a near miss on the Londonderry line.

In July alone, there were 79 incidents on the railway network, which ranged from young children running across tracks, groups of youths loitering at railway halts and bridges, to older passengers using tracks as short cuts.

A 15-year-old youth is being prosecuted for ignoring the warning lights at a crossing and another person with a bicycle was fined £90, plus an additional £88 towards Translink's legal costs.

Mr Campbell continued: "During school holidays, incidents of pedestrian trespass on the rail network unfortunately often increase."

Members of the NI Railways safety team have been working with PSNI neighbourhood policing teams around Northern Ireland during the past year to stamp out the dangerous activity.

They have been holding spot monitoring sessions to identify the culprits.

Ian continued: "We've toured schools across Northern Ireland with our rail safety project for 11-15 year olds, iPredict.

"The project which uses performance, magic and digital media to predict the outcomes of an imaginary train journey is designed to delivery key rail safety messages, including not trespassing on tracks, to this important target audience.

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"The message is simple - don't ever use the tracks as a shortcut or a playground and never try to beat the barrier at level crossings."
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