Network Rail has issued a serious safety warning after CCTV captured eight separate instances of dangerous behaviour on a rural railway crossing in one day.

The video, which was taken at Matlock Bath station in Derbyshire, captured both adults and children talking on the phone, taking selfies and dangerously posing for pictures on the tracks. One group of around 10 people, including a toddler, were caught on the tracks for more than eight minutes.

Network Rail is urging passengers to pay more attention and respect to the railway and to use crossings safely in the hope of preventing any serious incidents from happening.

The British Transport Police has increased its patrols in the Derbyshire area and is encouraging anyone who witnesses misuse of the crossings to call 0800 40 50 40.

Network Rail has also reiterated its safety advice for people using railway crossings, including:

  • ‘Stop, Look and Listen’ for a train before opening the gate. If a train is approaching wait to cross until it has passed and double check that there isn’t a second train coming.
  • Once the track is clear, open the gate and walk across the track to the other side. Be careful not to rush in case you trip and make sure the gate is closed behind you.
  • If a group of people are crossing, make sure there is sufficient time for the whole group to cross safely and keep dogs on a lead whenever you are near a railway line.

Tom Jones of Thompsons Solicitors said: “The footage of people fooling around or failing to pay attention while crossing the railway line is, apart from being incredibly risky, an insult to those who die every year when struck by trains at crossings.

“Anyone who recklessly crosses a railway line not only puts their own life at risk, but also the lives of train passengers and train drivers. Through our work with ASLEF and other rail unions, as well as with the emergency services, Thompsons is all too aware of the consequences faced by those involved in railway deaths and injuries. In addition to physical injury there can be long-term psychological damage.

"Pedestrians, cyclists and drivers should take care and allow extra time when crossing a railway. A basic knowledge of the Highway Code and the National Rail safety guidelines should prevent any serious injuries to rail passengers or personnel.”