Teens caught lying down on Kent railway line

Roshina Jowaheer

A group of school children were filmed playing on a railway line in Kent in a shocking video released by Network Rail.

The CCTV footage shows the youngsters taking photos and lying down on the tracks by Simpson's Foot Crossing in Sittingbourne.

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They were identified and the dangers of their actions explained to them by Network Rail community safety manager Nicola Dooris.

"Many young people simply don't think about the dangers of the railway and parents will know how difficult it is to drag their kids away from their phones or other tech," she said.

"Those two factors together mean that we have a constant battle to get through to children to help them stay out of danger. Anything parents can do to help us could make all the difference."

Network Rail also revealed that over two thirds (70 per cent) of near-misses are due to distraction, with the top three distractions at level crossings highlighted as friends (40 per cent), headphones (20 per cent) and mobile phones (12 per cent).

Almost a third (29%) of young adults admits to using their mobile phone while crossing the railway.

To help combat the issue of distraction at level crossings, Network Rail and British Transport Police are introducing geo-targeting at a number of level crossings where phone distraction has been flagged as high risk.

The system will alert people using their phones near level crossings to put them away.

Locations in the South East where the geo-targeting message will be broadcast are:

- Dibley's foot crossing, Chartham , near Canterbury in Kent
- Glebe Way foot crossing, Whitstable, Kent
- Whitehall Road, level crossing, Canterbury, Kent
- Simpson's foot crossing, Sittingbourne, Kent
- Teynham West foot crossing, near Faversham, Kent
- Red Lane Holland, foot crossing, Oxted, Surrey
- Rushford's foot crossing, Lingfield, Surrey
- Bourneview foot crossing, Kenley, Surrey
- Warnham foot crossing, North Horsham, West Sussex
- Stockbridge and Basin Road level crossings, Chichester, West Sussex