New PTA safety campaign highlights danger of posing for photos on Perth’s rail network

Crossing the line: the couple pictured on the Guildford tracks. Picture: J Bianchini
Crossing the line: the couple pictured on the Guildford tracks. Picture: J Bianchini

A NEW safety program is targeting people posing for photographs around Perth’s rail network.

The Public Transport Authority campaign warns professional and amateur snappers that not only is trespassing on the tracks illegal, it can be deadly.

PTA spokesman David Hynes said there were dozens of examples of photos online, particularly on social media, of people posing for photographs on railway tracks.

“Trespass on the rail network is a serious matter; even if it’s just stepping off a pedestrian crossing on to the tracks, ballast and rail tracks aren’t meant to be walked on, particularly not in bridal heels,” he said.

“It takes up to 250m for a train to stop once the brakes are applied, and as our fleet is electric, it can be impossible to hear them until it’s too late.

“The campaign – an offshoot of our existing award-winning Stay Off the Tracks campaign – includes the new signage, as well as new warning signs at key locations, an increased presence at known hot-spots and we are also writing directly to photographers and warning them they aren’t just breaking the law – they are risking their lives and those of their subjects.”

Community News and the PTA highlighted the issue in October 2015 when we published pictures of a couple posing for shots at a level crossing in Guildford.

Mr Hynes said being on the tracks or within the rail reserve, without a permit and other than using a pedestrian crossing, was classified as trespassing.

“If we catch you trespassing, we will infringe you, and the potential alternative is even worse,” he said.

“It’s never acceptable to trespass on the railway track – not for a photograph, not to retrieve a dropped phone and not for a shortcut.

“The symbolism of a long and winding journey down the rail tracks of life may seem like an endearing metaphor for your shoot, but photographers owe it to their clients to make choices that keep their customers safe.

“A wedding day is one of the most memorable times in a couple’s life, but if they trespass on the rail network, ‘til death do us part’ could be sooner than they think.

“No photograph, no matter how emotive, is worth a life.”

Top 10 locations for trespass in 2016-17

Reported offences
14 McIver station
12 Claisebrook
9 Burswood
9 Joondalup
9 Success Hill
9 Sherwood
7 Warwick
6 Claisebrook Depot
6 Cockburn Central
6 Woodbridge

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