Now I know my little ones are little, not teenagers for a while, but the thought of them going out and about playing near the train tracks when they get older – scares me so much! I hate the thought of them not knowing the dangers of the tracks and I will make sure they do now. Even I have learnt something with this life-saving campaign…. #YouVsTrain.
Why start the campaign #YouVsTrain?
The number of young people taking risks on the railway track has gone up by almost 80 per cent in the last five years². In the last 12 months alone, seven young people under the age of 18 have lost their lives and a further 48 people have received life changing injuries.
As a result the rail industry and the 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.
The story of Tom Hubbard
At the heart of the You vs. Train campaign is the story of Tom Hubbard – a young boy who suffered life-changing injuries in 2014 when he was electrocuted by the overhead power cables. Tom suffered third degree burns across 57% of his body and he has been left to deal with the serious physical and psychological consequences ever since. The video is below:
Tom explains: “I woke up 11 days later in the burns unit at Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital wrapped from head to toe in bandages, heavily medicated and unable to string a sentence together. I don’t think I knew what was real and what wasn’t. When the doctors and my mum came to speak to me a few days later, the enormity of what had happened finally hit me. They explained how lucky I was to be alive, but it was going to be a long road to recovery.
“Four years on I’m still affected by the events of that day and every time I look in the mirror I’m reminded by that one decision to go on the railway. The accident has made me more of an introvert and cautious of trying new things, often opting to stay in during the day to avoid people and wear hoodies and long-sleeved tops to hide my scars, even on hot days”
Spread the word
I had no idea that the charge from the lines could jump and electrocute you. Even if you are not touching the lines! It’s really scary… 15% of people surveyed think that it’s safe to walk on the railway track. If you check a timetable to make sure there are no trains coming – it still doesn’t matter.
The rail industry is also working together to roll out a new schools engagement programme. Community engagement managers from across Network Rail, British Transport Police (BTP) and Train Operating Companies will be out teaching thousands of children about railway safety. BTP officers will also be stepping-up patrols across the country. Great idea.
Let’s spread the word and keep our children safe this Summer and every Summer thereafter…