UK & World News
Level Crossings: Campaign To Cut Rail Deaths
A new campaign aimed at cutting the number of people killed while crossing Britain's railways has been launched.
Network Rail has produced a television advert which reveals more people are killed at footpath crossings than any other type.
It hopes the message "see track, think train" will make pedestrians and cyclists approach rural crossings as they would a busy road.
The advert features a family playing I Spy in the countryside, with the daughter suddenly realising she is on the tracks with a train bearing down on her.
Martin Gallagher, head of level crossings for Network Rail, said: "Although we have thousands, if not millions of people who use level crossings every day, we've seen a trend in incidents and accidents where distraction, because people are wearing headphones, or walking dogs, or sending text messages, has become a causal factor."
Families of those who have been killed crossing railways say it is not just about personal responsibility.
Friends Olivia Bazlinton, 14, and Charlotte Thompson, 13, died at Elsenham station in Essex in December 2005.
They stepped on to the track shortly after a train had passed, not realising the continuing warning bells and lights meant another train was coming straight after it.
Olivia's father Chris Bazlinton told Sky News: "The sighting at that time was appalling, you couldn't see anything, you couldn't hear anything.
"The maximum time you could see a train is three seconds from that position.
"They were both quite short and they couldn't possibly see anything so they just stepped out in front, and they were killed instantly."
Network Rail was fined £1m for safety breaches, and has put in place a footbridge at the station, as well as gates that lock automatically.
Charlotte's father Reg Thompson would like to see such improvements across the country.
He said: "The railways are, in huge parts of this country, still unfit for purpose. The stations must be updated and made as safe as possible.
"They can never be completely safe; nobody can stop someone jumping over the fence, but we can create at least a fence, we can put locking gates in."
Network Rail says it is investing £130m in making crossings safer. This includes 750 being closed by April 2014.