17:18 Tuesday 17 December 2013

Harrowing youth film shows dangers of level crossings

Written byLAURA HAMMOND

A HARROWING short film has been created by youngsters in South Derbyshire in the hope of teaching others the dangers of inattention when crossing railway lines.

Crossing the Line was produced by members of South Derbyshire Youth Forum after two people narrowly avoided serious injury on the level crossing at Willington.

The film has now been shown in schools, and has been posted on Youtube so it can reach a wider audience.

Emma Morris, who lives in Woodville, directed the piece.

The 16-year-old told the Mail: “Hopefully it’s made other people think about going on the lines before they do it and end up getting killed.

“I think the film is really good.”

Discussions about the film have been taking place for more than a year, and the grop have spent time drawing up story boards and filming the piece.

At just under four minutes long, it tells the story of Sarah, who is dressed as a ladybird and is on her way to meet friends at a fancy dress party.

On the way she runs into some boys she knows, but after they tease her she puts in her earphones and continues.

As the teenager nears the level crossing she receives a text, and stops in the middle of the tracks to reply, not hearing the approaching train which then strikes her.

The film ends by displaying a text message on her mobile phone advising people to pay attention when crossing the lines. It says ‘don’t be squashed like a bug’.

Ashley Pallett, 18, was one of the actors.

He said: “We wanted it to be shocking to make older children think.

“Rail safety is quite important. Kids may not know what they are doing and they might be a bit silly.

“With the film, we thought we might be able to help with that, and maybe prevent a few near deaths or accidents.”

Six young people acted in the film, and others got involved in the technical side.

Though they have now taken it into a number of schools to advise children on rail safety, it is still available for other educational purposes.

For further information, or to access a hard copy of the film, email Rachel.Searcey@derbyshire.gov.uk.

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