The safety of children in the vicinity of railways is a concern to parents, carers and teachers worldwide. Modern trains are fast and very quiet and their approach is often not noticed until the last moment. Other hazards include high voltage overhead lines or rails providing traction power, unsafe structures and level crossings.
We have had a few train safety talkis in school. Both Merseyrail and British Transport police have visited school and spoken to all of our pupils.
Here are the key points which were discussed:
Top Ten tips for keeping safe on the railway
Be extra cautious at level crossings
Did you know that there are over 6,500 level crossings in the UK? While they can sometimes seem inconvenient, it's important to remember that they're there to keep you safe. When you see the lights of a level crossing beginning to flash in the distance, it might be tempting to speed up to try and beat the barrier, but this can be very dangerous. Be patient and you'll soon be safely on your way.
Stay off the tracks
There's a very good reason that only certain sections of the railway are open to the public “trespassing on the tracks or embankment areas surrounding them is not only illegal, but can also result in disastrous accidents. Taking a short cut across a railway line or chasing after an item you've dropped could end in disaster, so just don't do it!
Never go near the overhead power lines
The third rail' that runs above the track carries a strong electrical current “ 12 times stronger than an electric chair, in fact. This electricity can jump' outwards too so you don't even need to touch the lines to get an extremely nasty shock. Stay well away at all times.
Keep back from the platform edge
Trains often travel through stations at high speed, and you're putting yourself at risk if you stand too close to the edge of the platform. Pay attention to the marking that indicate the safe standing distance, and, when your train arrives, wait until it's come to a complete stop before crossing the line to get on board.
Watch your step
Some stations have been there a very long time and this means that the height of the train you're travelling on and the platform won't always match up exactly. Always go cautiously when getting on and off the train, and be sure to mind the gap'!
Mind that child
Childrenof all ages are always keen to explore, but, as every parent will know, this love of adventure can sometimes mean they accidently wander into danger. Always keep a close eye on your little one when you're anywhere near the tracks, and teach them about basic rail safety as soon as they're old enough to understand.