1. ITV Report

SHOCKING FOOTAGE: Youngsters risk lives by playing on railway tracks

Shocking footage showing youngsters playing on rail tracks in Kent has been released to warn others of the risk to life.

The footage was taken at Simpson's foot crossing in Sittingbourne earlier this year.

Network Rail and the British Transport Police has introduced new technology as near misses involving children in the South East is expected to rise during the summer months.

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

Credit: Network Rail

Lighter nights and the summer holidays mean young people are more likely to have a near miss, with 70% due to distraction.

The top three distractions are friends (40%), headphones (20%) or mobile phones (12%).

29% of young adults admitted using their mobile phone while crossing a railway.

The young people in the CCTV footage were identified and the danger of their actions explained.

Credit: Network Rail

Locations where the new alert systems have been installed:

  • Dibley’s foot crossing, Chartham, near Canterbury in Kent
  • Glebe Way foot crossing, Whitstable, Kent
  • Whitehall Road, level crossing, Canterbury, Kent
  • Simpson’s foot crossing, Sittingbourne, Kent
  • Teynham West foot crossing, near Faversham, Kent
  • Red Lane Holland, foot crossing, Oxted, Surrey
  • Rushford’s foot crossing, Lingfield, Surrey
  • Bourneview foot crossing, Kenley, Surrey
  • Warnham foot crossing, North Horsham, West Sussex
  • Stockbridge and Basin Road level crossings, Chichester, West Sussex

To find out more about how to stay safe when using level crossings visit Network Rail's website.

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.”

– Nicola Dooris, Network Rail

Level crossings are there to help people cross the railway when it is safe to do so but pedestrians need to pay full attention when they use them."

"Sadly, our officers know the tragedy families are faced with after a loved one is killed at a level crossing. A moment of distraction, be that checking a text or changing a song, can leave devastation and heartbreak for families." "We regularly conduct operations at level crossings and run events across the country in conjunction with our partners in Network Rail to raise awareness on how to use crossings safely.”

– Inspector Becky Warren, British Transport Police