Every year it’s the same. Every year there are warnings in the run up to school holidays, of the dangers of trespassing on railway lines, and every year we hear of another incident or, worse, another tragedy.
Over just five weeks last summer, there were 129 incidents of trespassing on to lines in Leeds. You read that right.
That marks an increase from 96 in 2014 - a rise of 34 per cent.
According to British Transport Police (BTP), as the longer evenings set in and the summer holidays begin, young people are twice as likely to trespass than in the winter.
The force has joined up with Network Rail to urge parents to warn their children of the dangers of playing on the tracks.
Over the past 10 years, almost 170 young people in the UK have lost their lives after trespassing on the railway. Just under half of those killed were under the age of 25.
Over the last decade, 72 per cent of those who died were struck by a train; 17 per cent were electrocuted and the others fell from structures or trains. Most (42 per cent) were taking a short cut.
Rail trespass is illegal, it’s dangerous and the consequences are potentially fatal. BTP are increasing patrols and need to come down hard on anyone caught out.
We sympathise with parents who want their children to adventure, explore, investigate and run wild this summer - after all, isn’t that how it should be?
And we pray that one day a summer will come to an end (perhaps this one?) that hasn’t been marred by a tragedy caused by a young thrill-seeker losing his or her life on the rails.