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Safety for kids paramount

Transperth has launched a new safety campaign targeting children and their parents.

In 2015 eight children fell between a train and the platform on the Transperth network.

Spokesman David Hynes said Perth’s urban train network has some of the smallest gaps between train and platform of any rail system in the world.

“But that doesn’t mean accidents don’t happen. Because children are smaller, quicker and often very curious, they can find themselves in harm’s way,” Mr Hynes said.

“We know children love trains and it’s clear some parents may not realise simple things like kids running to press the button on the outside of the train can be very risky.

“Instead we suggest parents talk to their kids about only pressing the button inside the train, standing further back when a train is approaching, and never running at stations – specially along platforms.

“In 2015 there were eight incidents where children fell between the train and the platform. So far in 2016 we have only had one incident.

“Clearly even one incident is one too many, so that’s why we’re doing this campaign to get the message across.”

 Incidents of children falling between the train and the platform
 Year  Number of incidents
 2016  1
 2015  8
 2014  1
 2013  3
 2012  0
 2011  3

Mr Hynes said the new Mind the Gap, Kids campaign includes new platform markings located one metre further back from the existing yellow line.

“A poster campaign will also be rolled out inside trains and at platforms so parents can start that conversation with kids as early as possible. Safety needs to be part of every rail journey.

“No rail network in the world has been able to completely eliminate the gap between train and platform, but we do try our best to manage it by carefully designing new station platforms and installing rubber step buffers to railcars.”

The Public Transport Authority is behind the award-winning rail safety program – Right Track, which educates young people about the dangers of trespass on the railway. Last year the program was taught in dozens of schools to thousands of Western Australian students.

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