RALEIGH, Wake County — You wouldn’t take photos in the middle of an interstate, so why stand on railroad tracks to get that one shot?
That's the question the N.C. Department of Transportation is posing to the public this spring.
The NCDOT's "BeRailSafe" program is warning the public of the dangers, and reminding them that it's a crime, especially during prom season.
Standing on or near railroad tracks is trespassing.
“You put your life at risk by walking, playing or taking pictures on railroad tracks. It’s not only dangerous, it is illegal,” said Jason Orthner, director of NCDOT’s Rail Division. “We need people to understand the real dangers of taking photos on railroad tracks.”
Spring is the season for graduations and prom portraits. The NCDOT is working with the state Department of Public Instruction by asking high school yearbook staff advisers to alert students and photographers of how dangerous it is to take photos on or near railroad tracks.
Last year, 18 people were killed, and 13 others injured, while trespassing on North Carolina railroad tracks. According to that survey, North Carolina is ranked 8th out of the top 15 for trespassing casualties by state.
“Those are 18 people who will not be returning home to their families,” added Orthner. “We want to remind everyone that these types of accidents are avoidable if you stay off and away from the tracks.”
Some safety information for photographers and students to remember are: