WATCH: Heartbreaking video shows why dogs should be kept on leads near level crossings
Video contains scenes some may find disturbing
Published 08/07/2015 | 13:23
A dramatic video showing the potentially fatal consequences of letting a dog off its lead near a level crossing has been released by the UK's Network Rail as part of a rail safety campaign.
It comes after a survey revealed more than two thirds of pet owners would follow their animal onto a rail track even if a train was coming.
Five dog walkers died and there were more than 180 "near misses" involving trains and pet owners in the past five years, the rail firm said, as it launched the campaign in partnership with the Dogs Trust.
“I know with my two dogs how easily they can run off and how difficult it is sometimes to call them back, so I always keep them on a lead when I'm somewhere busy like a level crossing or a road," said Chris Williams, a level crossing manager with Network Rail.
“Hundreds of level crossings run through the countryside where it might feel like you’re in a very open area, but you can actually be very close to the railway with trains travelling through at over 100mph.
“It’s my job to keep people safe at level crossings, and across the country we see far too many near misses with trains and people walking their dogs.
In the video, a dog owner can be seen following her dog Baxter onto a track, before she is hit by an oncoming train. In the next scene, the dog is waiting in a pound for a new owner.