61ºF

Video: Child nearly struck by Metro train after crossing rails; officials warn parents

HOUSTON – A child could have been hurt or even killed when he was almost struck by a Metro train when he decided to cross the rails at the last minute.

Metro officials released surveillance video of the incident to urge parents to talk to their children about the dangers of crossing train tracks.

[READ: KPRC2 investigates Metro rail push for safety]

“The video is very disheartening, it really shows you what a close call can happen when people aren’t paying attention,” said Jerome Gray, vice president and senior press officer for Metro. 

In the video, a child was crossing the tracks to get to the Metro platform, and another boy ran behind him and slowed down while he was a few feet away from the moving train. The boy quickly noticed the train behind him and ran off the tracks just in time.

[VIDEO: Child nearly struck by Metro train after crossing rails] 

"It's our ongoing effort to really try to educate and inform people about safety along the rails,” Gray said. “This is a reminder that we have to constantly refresh, reeducate share the information about safety on the rail lines."

Metro officials posted:

“Mom and Dads, we appreciate everything you do, and we urge you to talk to your kids about rail safety. Remember, out trains weigh about 50 tons, which is the equivalent of seven fully-grown African elephants.

"They can’t easily or quickly stop even if traveling slowly. Keep this in mind when a train is approaching platform.”

Gray said across there region that has been an increase in pedestrian-related accidents -- not just rail, but with cars and trucks.  He said Metro has seen a spike in some accidents. 

According to KPRC2 investigative reporter Robert Arnold, in fiscal year 2016, Houston Metro logged 108 rail accidents, and between Oct. 1 and Feb. 28, there were 49 rail accidents.

Metro said it has implemented safety measures, like adding fencing along the rail, signs, painted crosswalks and louder horns to alert people a train is coming.

Gray said there are about 60 different ideas to improve safety, ideas that are still being vetted and have to go before the City Council. He said some ideas could happen overnight, while others -- like fencing the whole rail system -- would take time. He said fencing the entire track would take time because of money, the distance of the rail and the number of workers.


About the Authors: