Network Rail issues warning on 'illegal and dangerous' new social media trend

By Nisha Mal & Kathryn Riddell

A social media trend that sees people take selfies, endanger their children and dance on live railway tracks has been slammed as reckless.

Network Rail officials say images and videos of people posing at railway lines have been increasingly appearing on social media.

Videos and pictures of the dangerous craze have attracted more than one million views on popular sites.

The disturbing trend even recently saw parents place their toddler on a train track for a photo.

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Other examples include two teenagers dancing on the tracks for a TikTok video before running away from an incoming train.

Discussing the reckless trend on a recent episode BBC's Crimewatch, Ronnie Gallagher, Route Level Crossing Manager at Network Rail said: "It's a very worrying trend.

"No photograph is worth the risk to you or the consequences to your family.

"Messing around on level crossings, including lingering and taking pictures, is illegal and extremely dangerous."

Network Rail has joined with British Transport Police and Transport for Wales (TfW) to launch a new campaign highlighting the dangers.

Their joint campaign, ‘At What Cost?’, uses an emotive new film inspired by a series of real-life incidents.

The campaign illustrates some of the motives people give for taking risks at level crossings – whether to save time, show off in front of friends or take an ‘Instagrammable’ photograph.

The film will be shown on TikTok, Instagram and Spotify as well as some schools and holiday parks.

Richard Powell, inspector at British Transport Police said: “Messing around on level crossings – including lingering to take photos – is illegal and extremely dangerous. You could be taken to court and face a £1,000 fine.

“Trains approach almost silently, so if you’re distracted, you won’t notice until it’s too late.

"Take care around level crossings. No photograph is worth the risk to you or the consequences for your family and any bystanders.”

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