Network Rail targets young phone users crossing railways

By Kevin Black in Community News

Concerned that young people about to use a railway level crossing during the summer months may be distracted by their mobile phones or cameras, Network Rail and British Transport Police are introducing geo- targeting at a number of crossings where phone distraction has been flagged as high risk.

These include Rushfords, Lingfield (pictured) and Red Lane, Holland, Hurst Green.

To help combat the issue of distraction at level crossings, Network Rail and British Transport Police are embracing new technologies to help reach young people and make them more aware of the dangers. The rail infrastructure company has produced a series of virtual reality films which can be used to educate children. They are also introducing geo-targeting at a number of level crossings which will alert people using their phones near level crossings to put them away.

The system will alert people using their phones near level crossings to put them away.

Network Rail community safety manager Nicola Dooris said: “Many young people simply don’t think about the dangers of the railway and parents will know how difficult it is to drag their kids away from their phones or other tech. Those two factors together mean that we have a constant battle to get through to children to help them stay out of danger. Anything parents can do to help us could make all the difference.”

New data has revealed that over two thirds (70 per cent) of near misses are due to distraction, with the top three causes of at level crossings highlighted as friends (40 per cent), headphones (20 per cent) and mobile phones (12 per cent). Almost a third (29%) of young adults admit to using their mobile phone while crossing the railway.

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