People in Norfolk are putting lives at risk by using phones on rail network

Handout from Network Rail.

Handout from Network Rail. - Credit: Archant

New figures from Network Rail have revealed that 15pc of people have experienced a near miss or accident when using their mobile phone around the rail network.

Research revealed that 22pc of people questioned said they use their phone when catching or getting off a train and 23pc admitted they use their mobile when crossing a road.

One in ten even admitting to using their phone while using a level crossing and in the last five years there have been more than 184 incidents on level crossings involving young people on the rail network in East Anglia.

Daniel Fisk, level crossing manager at Network Rail, said: 'Many people are aware of the issue of mobile phone distraction for drivers, but it is very worrying that so many young adults admit to putting themselves at unnecessary risk by using their phone when crossing the railway.

'We are investing more than £100m to improve level crossing safety across Britain, but we also need everyone who uses level crossings to do their bit too. By paying attention to the warnings at level crossings and avoiding distractions, we can all keep ourselves out of harm's way.'

The research on phone distraction also highlighted 95pc of U25s own a smart phone and spend twice the amount of time on their mobile than the average user and one in three young adults admits they would be more aware of their surroundings if they ditched their phone for 24 hours.

Kevin Clinton, head of road safety at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), said: 'As we advise drivers and pedestrians to avoid becoming distracted when they're in a road environment, it's essential that people are also fully aware of what's happening around them when they use level crossings. Avoid being dangerously distracted by a mobile phone call, texting, using an app or listening to music through your headphones at a crossing so you're well aware of what the warning lights, barriers and signs are telling you.'

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Network Rail's level crossing and community safety managers will be raising awareness of rail safety by holding safety events and encouraging young people to stay alert when on the rail network throughout Anglia over the coming weeks.

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