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Rail safety warnings to kids

PUBLISHED: 13:14 16 June 2003 | UPDATED: 14:00 03 March 2010

RAIL safety will be in the spotlight this week with the launch of campaign aimed at keeping people off the tracks.

The Network Rail sponsored National Route Care Week is endorsed by Pc Dave Vint, of the British Transport police based at Ipswich station.

RAIL safety will be in the spotlight this week with the launch of campaign aimed at keeping people off the tracks.

The Network Rail sponsored National Route Care Week is endorsed by Pc Dave Vint, of the British Transport police based at Ipswich station.

Mr Vint has had first hand experience of children as young as ten endangering people's lives by placing objects on the track.

The latest incident in this area was at Runnacles Way crossing in Felixstowe where youngsters were caught looking for slow worms on the line on May 25.

He said: "The week is to promote awareness of the dangers of the railway line. The message is of not go on the tracks. They are not a playground and the fences are there to keep people out.

"Adults should take note that they are not short-cuts either."

A spokesperson for Network Rail said: "More than 90% of railway crime is committed by young people who risk their lives by using the railway as a play area. They still use dangerous shortcuts, throw stones, place objects on the track and play chicken in front of high-speed trains. Every single act of railway crime has the potential to cause serious harm or even death and can have long-term effects for those involved."

In February last year train drivers reported children aged nine to eleven playing chicken on the line. There have been more than a dozen incidents in the last four years of youngsters trying to derail trains by placing items on the tracks.

Undercover British Transport Police will patrol the lines to deter trespassers and educational literature will be sent to primary and secondary schools to reinforce the message.

If you see somebody trespassing on or causing damage to the railway you should call British Transport Police on 0800 405040.

* see page 18 for concerns over child safety

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