BRISTOL RAIL CENTRE LOCATION FOR NEW CAMPAIGN TO PREVENT TRESPASS
VIDEO - Track Tests: Dai Greene- World and British Bath-based champion 400m hurdler Dai Greene heads campaign
- Bristol maintenance training centre plays supporting role
- Nearly 50 people killed nationally with 10 people in near misses with trains across Bristol and Bath
Nearly 50 people have been killed after taking shortcuts and trespassing across the railway tracks in the last year, according to Network Rail. To highlight this, it has teamed up with British and World 400m hurdles champion Dai Greene to warn young men about the dangers of taking a short cut across the tracks. Shockingly, 88% of accidental trespass fatalities in the last ten years were male with over a third aged 16-25.
Dai appears in an online video, part of a new campaign launched today called ďTrack TestsĒ. The film was made at Network Railís maintenance training centre in Bristol, which has an outdoor track area which doubled as a real live railway. Dai is given a realistic but unusual running test Ė across the tracks Ė but itís not as easy as it seems, even for a top athlete at the peak of his condition. Itís dark, thereís grease on the line, unexpected trip hazards and itís raining. It aims to illustrate that if a fit, agile athlete used to leaping high hurdles at speed, is unable to get out of the way of a train travelling at 80mph, then you wonít either. The video will be part of a new Facebook page
and online/mobile advertising campaign over the next four weeks.
Dai Greene explained why he was keen to get involved with this new campaign: ďDay in day out, I train hard to make sure I am as quick as I can be. On the running track itís important that my reactions are lightning fast but on the train track - during filming - that didnít count for much. The experience has brought to life just how many dangers there are on the rail tracks Ė most of which I knew nothing about. I hope that this film really helps Network Rail to show people that taking the risk is never worth it.Ē
Patrick Hallgate, Network Railís western route managing director explained why Dai is the right man to get across the safety messages: ďWe know a lot of young men think, that taking a shortcut isnít really a risk, that they can get out of the way of any train but the fatality figures show they are wrong. Dai is one of the most fit and agile athletes in the world, someone that we know young men admire, particularly with the 2012 Games so close. His message and ours is simple - if he canít survive the shortcut, you wonít either.ĒTrespass statistics
From 01/04/2011 Ė 31/03/2012 there were 49 accidental trespass fatalities (excluding suicides and fatalities at level crossings). *These figures are subject to alteration following coronersí inquests.
There were 445 recorded near misses between trespassers and trains with reports of people crossing the tracks to the opposite platform upon realising their train was leaving from there, jumping down to retrieve phones or wallets, walking alongside the tracks as a shortcut home. From 01/04/2001 to 31/03/2011 (latest full year results)
The peak ages for trespass fatalities are the late teens and the early twenties.
The percentage of male trespass fatalities is disproportionately high compared to their level in the overall population. Although males make up just under 50% of the total population, they have accounted for 88% of trespass fatalities over the past 10 years.
In more than half of incidents, the reason for the trespass is not known or not identified. In those events where the motivation for the trespass is identifiable, the most common reason (37%) is for the purposes of taking a short cut. Other reasons where the trespass is a means to an end include retrieving property, walking dogs, fare evasion, and committing criminal damage or graffiti.
Over the past ten years, the greatest number of trespasser fatalities has occurred on a Saturday. The most common time (on any day) for the fatality to occur for those aged 16-30 is 2200 Ė 0200. From 2001-2011 there were 205 fatalities in this age group. 75 were during this time period (37%).
All trespass statistics provided by RSSB - the rail industry body, www.rssb.co.uk
Sections of tracks move to redirect trains. But feet can get caught in the mechanism without the signaller seeing anyone, as there is not a camera on every piece of track.
The time it takes a person to perceive a threat and react to it is known as the perception-reaction time. In accident reconstructions, it is usually found to be at least 1.5 seconds and increases with increasing danger.
The danger isnít just on the tracks; itís also dangerous next to the tracks. Trains tilt and changes in air pressure can pull people under trains. For any train over 40 mph, the danger envelope is at least 2-3 metres on either side of the track, thatís at least a 5-7m total danger zone when you include the track.
At 125mph a 450 tonne train takes 2km, or 20 football pitches to stop. By the time the human eye sees a person on the tracks itís much too late to stop the train.