A campaign has been launched this week after alarming new figures revealed there have been 194 incidents – 33 involving children or teenagers – endangering their lives on the railway in the area which includes Eastbourne.
Network Rail says the figures have risen since 161 incidents in 2014 and that more than a quarter of teenagers confess to behaving in a way that could endanger their life on the railway.
As a result the rail industry and British Transport Police have launched a new campaign – called You vs. Train – which targets teenagers to make them face the serious and devastating consequences for them and their loved ones when they make the potentially life-changing decision to ignore warnings and go onto the railway, with its obvious and hidden dangers.
Allan Spence at Network Rail said, “Hundreds of people each year unintentionally take on the railway and lose. This year we have already seen a record number of young people losing their life or being injured on the track. The railway is full of both obvious and hidden dangers.
“The electricity on the railway is always on and always dangerous. Trains can also travel up to 125 miles per hour, so even if a driver can see your child, they can’t stop in time and they can’t change direction.”
The new data also highlights some worrying seasonal peaks in the number of incidents, with the summer holidays seeing more than double the number of young risk takers, compared to the winter months.
BTP assistant chief constable Robin Smith said, “The tracks are not a playground. They’re incredibly dangerous and can easily result in serious injury or worse. We hope the campaign will help young people understand the risks.”