Maidstone Residents Putting Lives
OREANDA-NEWS. Thirty five per cent of people in the county town report using their phone when catching or getting off a train and a quarter admit they use their mobile when crossing a road. One in ten even admitting to using their phone while using a level crossing.
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.
Louise Carvey, head of safety at Network Rail’s South East Route, said: “Anyone with a mobile phone knows how easy it is to get glued to the screen and lose awareness of what is going on around you.
“Many young people in particular have said they have used their phones while crossing the railway, which puts them at unnecessary risk when their safety depends on paying attention to warnings and watching and listening for trains.
“We are investing more than ?100m to improve level crossing safety across Britain, 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 safe.”
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.”