U.K. police are warning citizens to stay away from train tracks following a spate of deaths and severe injuries they believe are partly due to social media, The Telegraph reported Wednesday.
The British Transport Police kicked off its “You Vs. Train” campaign Sunday, aimed at warning citizens away from taking pictures or playing around train tracks.
Police say seven teenagers have been killed on train tracks in the past 12 months, with 48 others receiving life-changing injuries.
This is not the first time the BTP has warned teenagers against taking social media pictures on the train tracks, however.
“Hundreds of people each year unintentionally take on the railway and lose. This year we have already seen a record number of young people losing their life or being injured on the track,” said Allan Spence, head of public and passenger safety at Network Rail.
Spence continued: “The railway is full of both obvious and hidden dangers. The electricity on the railway is always on and always dangerous. Trains can also travel up to 125 miles per hour, so even if a driver can see your child, they can’t stop in time and they can’t change direction.”
“Parents — please help us keep your children safe by educating them about what they take on when they step on the track,” Spence concluded.
Social media has become such an obsession among younger generations that users will go well out of their way to get more followers, be it through paying for likes or getting the perfect angle on a train track.
A 26-year-old girl named Lissette Calveiro from Connecticut sank herself more than $10,000 in debt buying followers and living an expensive lifestyle in order to achieve the perfect Instagram account.
She says she went on pricey shopping sprees every month so she’d never have to repeat the same outfit twice.
Calveiro also said she traveled just so she could collect special filters on Snapchat to show off to her friends.
Trespassing on train tracks has increased 80 percent since 2013, according to Network Rail, with one in ten teenagers taking to the tracks to snap selfies or walk around.
“The tracks are not a playground. They’re incredibly dangerous and can easily result in serious injury or worse,” BTP Assistant Chief Constable Robin Smith said.
“We hope the campaign will help young people to understand the risks, and help them to make the right decision and stay away from railway lines,” Smith concluded.
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