Worrying Report Reveals Third of Young People Use Mobile Phone
OREANDA-NEWS. The problem isn’t just on the railway either, with nearly two thirds (63%) of under 25 year olds admitting they use their mobile when crossing a road. Almost half (48%) report a near miss or accident when using their mobile phone around the transport network.
The Populus research on phone distraction also highlights that one in three young adults admit they would be more aware of their surroundings if they ditched their phone for 24 hours. Most spend time checking social media (63%) and surfing the web (44%).
While Britain still has the safest rail network in Europe, level crossings are one of the biggest public safety risks on the railway. In the last five years there have been more than 2,000 incidents on level crossings involving young people?.
Allan Spence, head of public and passenger safety at Network Rail, explains: “Many people are aware of the issue of mobile phone distraction for drivers, but it is very worrying that so many young adults admit to putting themselves at unnecessary risk by using their phone when crossing the railway.
“We are investing more than ?100m to improve level crossing safety across Britain as part of the Railway Upgrade Plan, but we also need everyone who uses level crossings to do their bit too. By paying attention to the warnings at level crossings and avoiding distractions, we can all keep ourselves out of harm’s way.”
Network Rail’s army of over 100 level crossing and community safety managers will be raising awareness of rail safety by holding safety events and encouraging young people to stay alert when on the rail network.
A huge 95 per cent of under 25 year olds report owning a smart phone and spend twice the amount of time on their mobile than the average user.
Kevin Clinton, head of road safety at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), said: “As we advise drivers and pedestrians to avoid becoming distracted when they’re in a road environment, it’s essential that people are also fully aware of what’s happening around them when they use level crossings. Avoid being dangerously distracted by a mobile phone call, texting, using an app or listening to music through your headphones at a crossing so you’re well aware of what the warning lights, barriers and signs are telling you.
“Trains travel so fast that one could reach the crossing before you get to the other side if you cross when it’s not safe, and of course, the train has no chance of stopping or swerving to avoid a collision. Take special care at level crossings on footpaths, bridleways and other rights of way where there are no barriers or railway staff.”
Network Rail owns, manages and develops Britain's railway - the 20,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations (the largest of which we also run). In partnership with train operators we help people take more than 1.65bn journeys by rail every year and move hundreds of millions of tonnes of freight, saving almost 8m lorry journeys. We employ 36,000 people across Britain and work round-the-clock, each and every day, to provide a safe, reliable railway.