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New television campaign aims to reduce railway crossing fatalities
A HARD-HITTING television advertising campaign highlighting the dangers of railway level-crossings is aimed at reducing fatal accidents on the track.
Network Rail has launched a new public information film to highlight how important it is to treat railway crossings in the same way as busy roads.
The campaign, which promotes the message “See train, Think train,” follows a string of fatalities on crossings across Merseyside over the last five years.
Among the tragedies was 51-year-old woman, from Hoylake, who died in June last year after she was struck by a train at Melrose Avenue crossing in Hoylake.
A 52-year-old man also died at the same unmanned crossing in 2008, and a pensioner was killed at nearby Sandringham Avenue crossing six months earlier.
It is hoped people of all ages will realise the dangers of becoming distracted at the crossings.
Martin Gallagher, head of level crossings for Network Rail said: “While fatalities at level crossings are at a low, there have been more pedestrians than motorists killed at crossings in recent years, and so we wanted to focus our campaign to connect with this audience.
“We know that it’s easy to get distracted or given the sleepy, rural surroundings not realise the risk at a crossing, but just as motorways cut through the countryside, so do railways.
“We’re doing all we can to make the railway safer by upgrading crossings or even closing them if we can, but we hope this advert will raise awareness that we all need to take care and look out for the warning signs ahead of every level crossing; doing so can save your life.”
The advertisement depicts a family taking a walk through the countryside, playing a game of “I spy” which distracts them as they approach the footpath crossing.
The daughter is standing on the crossing as she realises the answer to the game is “I spy with my little eye, something beginning with t, is track” but it is too late and she is struck by the train.
The powerful message comes as Network Rail carry out a multi-million pound investment to improve level crossing safety.
The £130m programme will see 750 crossing removed from the system by April, 2014, and employing 100 new dedicated level crossing managers.