Health > Staying safe at a railway crossing

Posted on June 2, 2016

Image by John Quilty; original photo by Flying Stag

Image by John Quilty; original photo by Flying Stag

John Quilty gives valuable tips that could save your life
Early this year a 14-year-old boy named Matthew Brittan was hit and killed by a train on a railway crossing near Weston Milton railway station near Bristol. His friends put a bunch of flowers on the spot where he died. On a note attached it says, “We miss you. You are still a knight of the round table. Hope you are in a better place now. Love Carrot Top, Joby, Mollie, Ellie, Georgia, Donna, Amber, Michael and Liv, The Round Table.”

Matthew Brittan was one of 30 people hit by a train over the last six years in the UK at a railway crossing. According to Network Rail 1,483 others were nearly hit by trains on railway crossings. Across the UK there are 6,300 railway crossings.

How are deaths caused on railway crossings?
People like Matthew Brittan are killed because they don’t follow the safety signs at railway crossings.

Deaths are caused when people jump over gates and run onto the railway crossing. Teens can get killed if they don’t pay attention because they are wearing headphones while crossing, and are not looking left or right.

How do you stay safe when crossing a railway crossings?
There are four types of crossings all over the UK and some of these crossings have no gates at all.

Open crossings
These crossings have no gates and may not have warning lights. Before you use these crossings remove any headphones you’re wearing, look left and right, and then walk, or stop if you hear a train coming.

Footpath crossings
These crossings are often found in the countryside. They will have gates and some have no warning lights. When using this crossing it might have a phone nearby in a yellow box with a phone sign on it. If so pick up and ask if it’s okay to cross. You will be told to cross or not cross if a train is coming.

Barrier crossings
These crossings have warning lights and alarms. Two gates cover the whole road. Wait if the gates go down and remove any headphones you’re wearing so you can hear the alarm.

Half barrier crossings
These crossings have warning lights and alarms but only have one gate covering half the road. So wait if you see the gates go down and remove any headphones so you can hear the alarm.

So please follow the signs, stop, look and listen and don’t play chicken with trains because they are not like toy trains. Please try to stay alive.

To find more about railway safety go to Rail Life.

John Quilty
John Quilty is a student from Harington Scheme who aspires to be an adventure story writer and become a film maker.

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