A NEW survey which suggests that a third of British adults are prepared to risk their lives to retrieve an everyday object such as a mobile phone or a bunch of keys from the track has been described by Network Rail as ‘shocking’.
In response, Network Rail and British Transport Police have launched a new campaign today called ‘Shattered Lives’.
The survey covered 2,000 adults. Rupert Lown is chief health and safety officer at Network Rail and said: ‘It is shocking that so many people are willing to risk life and limb to retrieve an everyday object from the track or make a shortcut, either of which could so easily result in shattering the lives of their loved ones forever. There are more dangers around the railway than people often realise – not just trains but the electricity in overhead lines and the third rail, which is never turned off.
‘You cannot put a price on personal safety. Every time someone strays on to the tracks they are placing themselves at risk of serious, life-changing injury or worse. And the effects of the actions can be devastating, not only for them, but their loved ones and the wider community. We want everyone to know and understand that stepping on the track shatters lives. Please don’t take risks. Don’t leave the people around you to pick up the pieces.’
The campaign is being backed by Paralympian Simon Munn, who lost his leg after attempting taking a shortcut home across a railway.
He added: ‘If you’re thinking about taking a shortcut home by trespassing across the tracks like I did, then there’s only one winner. You can’t mess about with a 400-tonne machine and think that you can get away with it. I was very lucky that I only came away with losing my leg. I’m incredibly proud of my career as a Paralympian, but that night 31 years-ago was a massive reality check. The outcome of my actions irreversibly changed my life and I regret the pain that I put my family and the driver of the train through.’