The high school prom is one of those special moments that needs to be captured for posterity. In fact, getting the perfect prom or grad photo is almost as important as choosing the right outfit. But when you’re picking the location for that all important photo, Operation Lifesaver (OL) wants to remind you to stay clear of railway tracks.
Young people sometimes think that train tracks make a good backdrop for photos. Social media and sites like Pinterest are full of images of well-dressed couples walking along, posing on, and kissing on railway tracks—a trend that OL would like to end.
“You wouldn’t take a prom or a grad photo in the middle of a highway, so why would you take one on railway tracks?” asks Sarah Mayes, National Director of Operation Lifesaver Canada. “Our message is simple: Don’t risk your life. Find another backdrop for your photos.”
Putting a stop to a risky trend
Taking photos on railway tracks has led to many avoidable tragedies, in part because of a common myth: people think they’ll always be able to see or hear a train coming. But the truth is, today’s trains can be remarkably fast and quiet—so you won’t necessarily hear one approaching or have time to get out of its way.
In September 2015, 16-year-old John DeReggi Jr. was hit and killed by a train while posing for a photo with his girlfriend on some railway tracks.
When the train came along, his girlfriend (and her sister, who was taking the picture), went in one direction and John (or John John as he was known) tried to go in the other. But he didn’t make it.
Similarly, 16-year-old Tristan Morrissette-Perkins was killed by a passenger train in July 2017 when he was taking pictures on a railway bridge
with his cousin and a friend. The other boys were able to get off the tracks in time. Tristan was not.
tragic stories are just two examples of why train tracks and photoshoots don’t mix. Don’t make the same mistake that John John and Tristan did. Help us #STOPTrackTragedies.
Whether it’s prom, graduation, or another special occasion, choose a safe backdrop for your special photos—and live to take another picture.