Not to play on railroad tracks, basically.

Not little children.

Young adults.

Once again we’re thwarting Darwin.

Let the dumbasses play there and take their selfies there.

We can later watch all the “splats.”

The state Department of Transportation is warning people not to use railroad tracks as the setting for their prom or graduation photos this spring.

NCDOT is working with the Department of Public Instruction to ask high school yearbook staff advisers to notify students and photographers of the dangers posed by taking photos on or near railroad tracks. The agencies urge yearbooks not to publish any.

The warning comes after a college student and aspiring model was hit and killed by a train during a photo shoot in the small Texas town of Navasota last month. Fredzania Thompson, 19, heard the horn of an approaching Union Pacific train and moved to an adjoining set of tracks, not realizing that a Burlington Northern train was coming the other way.

“You put your life at risk by trespassing on railroad tracks,” said Paul Worley, director of NCDOT’s Rail Division. “We need photographers, school administrators and parents to educate students about the potential danger of taking photos on railroad tracks.”

Though it may have become a cliche, using railroad tracks as a backdrop for a photograph remains popular. The web site Pinterest has several pages, such as “Railroad photography,” “Railroad senior pictures” and “Railroad track photography,” full of photos of young people posing on rails or lying across the ties of a railroad track. The site also has family Christmas photos and portraits of young children on railroad tracks as well.

The NCDOT’s springtime message to students is part of an ongoing campaign by DOT’s BeRailSafe program and a nonprofit safety group backed by the rail industry called Operation Lifesaver. The mission of both organizations is to remind people that railroad tracks are private property and that walking and hanging around on them can be dangerous.

“Generally speaking, every trespass injury or fatality is preventable,” said Margaret Cannell, who heads Operation Lifesaver in North Carolina. “All railroad tracks are private property, even ‘inactive’ tracks, and being on them is a Class 3 trespassing misdemeanor.”

Last year, 23 pedestrians were killed by trains on railroad tracks in North Carolina, the most in a single year in at least a decade, according to numbers compiled by the Federal Railroad Administration. Since 2006, 194 people have been killed while on railroad tracks in the state, an average of more than 17 a year.

None of last year’s fatalities in North Carolina were linked to photography, Cannell said, though there were at least five cases nationwide.

In general, Cannell said, about a third of people hit by trains are impaired by drugs or alcohol, about a third are suicides and about a third were simply distracted or unable to hear the train because of headphones.

“People expect a train to be really loud, but they’re quieter than ever before,” she said. “So you won’t always hear a train approaching.”

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  1. redneckgeezer says:

    The answer to your question is “YES”

  2. Leonard Jones says:

    Shit, when I was 4, the family moved to Utah and we lived in a house right
    next to a railroad track. There were no fences or any other kind of barrier.
    All one had to do was simply walk out if you wanted to play on the tracks,
    there was nothing to stop anyone from doing it.

    The difference between then and now is that back then we all had a brain in our
    fucking noggins!

  3. bogsidebunny says:

    The only thing wrong with the planet is the existence of humans. Dumber that the lowest forms of amphibians and more useless than amoebae that cause deadly dysentery.

    The more they quickly die the better.

    Pray for the asteroid.

  4. Eskyman says:

    I live right next to tracks, in Carlsbad CA. There are no fences, just boom-gates at road crossings. Each year there are many deaths; mostly drunks and suicides. Most recently there was a young woman killed, who’d just experienced a breakup with her boyfriend; many speculate that she was too upset to realize the danger (pretty good chance there was alcohol involved too.)

    Some of these deaths (maybe even most,) could be prevented by “tranching” the tracks, so that they’re basically underground (in a trench.) This would also cut the train noise by a lot, and allow road & foot traffic to more easily access the beach area. Win-win, right?

    The only drawback is that it costs a huge bundle of money! Personally, I don’t want to pay the bill for it, and I’m not alone. It’ll probably get done anyway, as so many people now in CA just vote for anything as long as it makes them feel good, and they never think about who’s going to pay for it- which is them (also us, who know better, but we’re in the minority here.) When the bill comes to their household, they’ll scream bloody murder; but they’ll keep right on electing Democrats and voting for each & every “safety” measure they can think of, since they never learn.

    I gotta get out of this place, before I find myself standing on the tracks, staring down a train to escape the madness!

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