Train tracks aren’t the right place to take photos

Spring is finally here.  And after a long winter of being cooped up, and often locked down, Canadians are flocking outside to enjoy the warmer weather. They’re also capturing those outings in photos—and posting them on social media.
At Operation Lifesaver, we’ve been concerned by the number of photos being taken on railway tracks and posted on social media recently. Although we know that finding the perfect backdrop is important, trains, tracks, railway bridges, tunnels and other railway property are not the way to go. Not only are they private property, but taking photos on or near railway tracks could get you seriously injured, or even killed.
“You wouldn’t take a photo in the middle of a city street, so why would you think of taking it on railway tracks?” asks Sarah Mayes, National Director of Operation Lifesaver Canada. “Our message is simple: You’re risking your life by trespassing on railway tracks to take a picture. Please find another backdrop.”
Taking photos on tracks can lead to tragedy
People often make the mistake of thinking that trains are loud—a misconception that can end in tragedy. Because today’s locomotives can be remarkably quiet, you won’t always hear a train approaching or have time to get out of its way.
In September 2015, 16-year-old John DeReggi Jr. and his girlfriend Natalie Crim were posing on the tracks in Boyds, Maryland, just a half-kilometre from John’s house. When a train came along, Natalie and her sister, the photographer, were out of harm’s way, but John (or John John, as he was known) was still on the tracks. He was hit and died instantly. His tragic story is the subject of one of OL’s #STOPTrackTragedies videos.
Remember: no photo is worth your life. Find a safe place to take your next photo—and live to take another picture.