Many people who regularly use the train network in Perth may have witnessed people jumping the pedestrian gates to run for a train they were worried about missing, or experienced a delay on the network due to trains having to wait or move slowly through an area because people were spotted on the tracks. This behaviour is not only illegal but is an obvious and avoidable risk to personal safety. Arguably the most important of the Public Transport Authority’s (PTA) core values is safety, and it is this very issue that the Right Track program seeks to address.
The Right Track program is a community education initiative which focuses on encouraging at-risk young people to become responsible for their own safety and to make positive choices around public transport.
We do this by helping young people become more aware of the risks and consequences of unsafe behaviour around public transport, particularly the train lines. Listening to what young people have to say about what is important to them, and working with communities to provide safer travel for everyone is an important part of the program, and a strategy that has a ripple effect in those communities. Mentoring and educating young people on the positive roles they can play in their community helps to enact lasting change and ultimately creating these community champions to spread safety messages helps to reduce the levels of unsafe and anti-social behaviour in an effective way.
Right Track proactively seeks to support youth programs in at-risk areas by offering activities for young people to get involved with. These include Hip hop workshops, urban art programs, dance parties and many more diversionary programs which help to draw young people away from the train lines in the evenings on weekends, giving them safe spaces and activities to engage in. We are even happy to develop programs specifically to meet the needs of young people.
We also offer in-class packages created specifically for schools and education pathways and mapped to the Australian curriculum. These are a great way to bring the topic of personal safety into the classroom and offer a variety of discussion based activities for teachers to use in a way that best suits their students.
Finally, Right Track offers presentations to schools and youth organisations by uniformed Transit Officers, or our rail safety ambassador Jonathan Beninca. These may be offered to schools or youth organisations whose students have been identified as engaging in some unsafe behaviour or as a preventative measure in high risk areas adjacent to rail lines.