France Launches Media Campaign to Stop Youth Taking Selfies on Train Tracks

The lengths some people will go to for a good Instagram picture are not always innocent or safe.

As reported by the BBC Friday, France's rail operator is urging people not to take selfies on the tracks due to an increase in trespassing-related accidents.

During the height of the coronavirus pandemic, says the BBC, the SNCF railway company noticed that people were trespassing and going to extreme lengths to capture photos on the tracks. Experts believe this is largely due to the fact that railways have been running at a limited capacity during the pandemic.

To prevent the spread of the coronavirus, railways ran fewer trains and reduced track maintenance and surveillance services. Without the fear of being caught coupled with ample time in between trains, people likely felt comfortable trespassing to take photos on the tracks to share with their social media followers.

However, the world is slowly getting back to normal. As such, railways are beginning to operate as before, meaning more trains are running and track services have increased. Sadly, as a result, accidents are on the rise, as many are still taking unnecessary risks to capture photos on the tracks.

In response, the BBC reports that the SNCF launched a social media video series on Monday with the hashtag #SurLesRules (#OnRails). In addition to the hashtag, the BBC says the campaign also uses slogans such as, "taking pictures on the tracks is to risk never taking pictures again."

Si Andrea avait vu le danger dans l'objectif, aurait-elle pris la pose #SurLesRails ?


— SNCF Réseau (@SNCFReseau) May 3, 2021

In the tweet, the SNCF asks: "If Andrea had seen the danger in the lens, would she have posed?"

The video series is reportedly based on real events and seeks to highlight the various dangers of trespassing such as electrocution and, of course, being hit by a high-speed train.

"Every week in France, a fatal accident near or on the railways is caused by risky behavior," said the operator according to the BBC.

To keep the public safe, the BBC says: "[T]he SNCF will release new guidelines each week as part of an ongoing risk prevention campaign."

But France isn't the only country facing this problem. The UK has seen an increase in rail incidents as well. Recent data shows that the UK has seen a 40% increase in youth trespassing incidents since the public re-emerged from the first lockdown.

"Trespassing on the railway can have serious, life-changing consequences for the individual, their loved ones and the wider community," said Superintendent Alison Evans, according to Network Rail. "Please, make sure you know the rail safety basics and pass that knowledge onto your loved ones. Lead by example and stay off the tracks."

France railway
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