Feckless parents put toddler on railway tracks as part of dangerous selfie craze

Police have warned about an “extremely dangerous” selfie craze after a pair of feckless parents were caught putting their toddler on train tracks to pose for a photo.

The trend sees participants snapping themselves on level crossings and railway lines for an “Instagrammable” picture, rail companies have said.

There have been 433 ‘serious’ incidents on level crossings in Wales since the coronavirus pandemic started.

CCTV images have captured teenagers sitting on the tracks and one man lying down to pose for a photo.

In the most shocking example, a very young child is seen sitting in the middle of a level crossing as an adult pushing a buggy watches on.

British Transport Police (BTP) inspector Richard Powell said: “Messing around on level crossings, including lingering to take photos, is illegal and extremely dangerous.

“You could be taken to court and face a £1,000 fine.

“Trains approach almost silently, so if you’re distracted, you won’t notice until it’s too late.

“Take care around level crossings. No photograph is worth the risk to you or the consequences for your family and any bystanders.”

The photos are usually uploaded to social media with posts on Instagram, TikTok and Snapchat under the hashtags #railwayphotography and #railwayshoot.

Train driver Jody Donnelly said: “Over the years, myself and many of my colleagues – from within station, driver and conductor roles – have had to deal with hundreds of frightening and sometimes tragic occurrences at level crossings.

“People seem to think that the worst won’t happen to them – but if you’re caught short at a level crossing, it simply isn’t true.

“Unlike cars, trains can take hundreds of metres to stop when travelling at top-speed, meaning that a decision to nip across the tracks can be fatal.”

The fad has been sweeping across the UK with 1,239 incidents of people trespassing on the tracks in September – the highest figure in five years.