Did you know that rail trespass is on the rise in Perth? But do you know what trespass is exactly? Let me clarify for you. When rail organisations talk about trespass, we mean any person accessing the rail reserve in an unauthorised way. And this is illegal, not to mention extremely dangerous.
Trespass includes pushing through the pedestrian gates after they have closed; jumping down on the tracks, even to retrieve a dropped item; a person crossing at a closed level crossing and even one of our own staff members who hasn’t been granted the proper authorisation (we aren’t exempt from the safety rules either!).
Many people don’t consider that the timetables and screens at train stations only notify passengers of the next scheduled service due to stop at that station. They don’t display express trains or freight trains. If you think you’ve got time to run across the tracks before the next train is due, there may very well be an express train 3 seconds away travelling at about 130km/h.
Also think of the"unknown factors" around the rail reserve including the possibility of twisting an ankle on the ballast (rocks) and not being able to move out of the way fast enough, or even tripping and knocking your head or getting a foot or item of clothing caught. All these things may result in not being about to move out of the way of an oncoming train.
Many people, especially young people who may be ruled by their impulses, or influenced by a group of friends, don’t know what their "fight or flight" response will be – some people freeze when they are scared (or impaired by drugs or alcohol).
This topic may seem grim, but it is a serious safety issue affecting young people all across our network. Train drivers, transit officers and the CCTV operators see people trespassing, sometimes on a daily basis, and this behaviour needs to stop.
So please, when you are talking to your students about travelling around Perth in Term 4, raise the issue of rail safety. Take a look at some of our resources and use the activities that you think are engaging for your students, book in a presentation by a transit officer, or download the attached safety blurb to include in your school newsletter.
There really are no second chances around trains.