Charges pressed against teens caught hanging off booms at rail crossing
A video appeared on Dumpert on Monday showing two teenagers hanging off the booms at a railway crossing in Friesland. ProRail will be pressing charges against the boys, hoping to send the message that "the railway environment is not something to joke with", a spokesperson for the rail company said to the Volkskrant.
The incident happened a month and a half ago. The two boys, aged 16 and 17 years, put their full weight on the booms, thereby activating the closing mechanism. ProRail technicians are investigating whether the booms were damaged. "We often see unsafe behavior at railway crossings, but willful disruptions are rare", a spokesperson for the rail company said to the newspaper.
The boys on the video reported to ProRail on Monday night. "They are shocked by all the attention their behavior generated on social media. The perpetrators expressed deep regret and see that their behavior is unacceptable", the rail company said in a statement.
"Social media invites you to do stunts on the track because you can share your actions widely", according to ProRail. The Dutch rail manager is actively campaigning against this type of stunt, for example with information campaigns at schools about the dangers of the railway, but stunts still happen.
Last year two vloggers jumped on the roof of a train and traveled between Nijmegen and Molenhoek. Veolia pressed charges, but the teenagers weren't punished because the Public Prosecutor could not prove that they put train traffic in danger. The two vloggers were sent to talk to train drivers about their traumatic experiences with attempted suicides and stunts that went wrong.
On Saturday night two 17-year-old boys were killed in Elst when they were hit by an oncoming train. ProRail and the police are still investigating exactly what happened, but the current theory is that the two boys were walking across the tracks for the kick of it and didn't hear the intercity between Arnhem and Nijmegen coming.