A rap song about train safety by Dunedin pupils is being
celebrated in association with the launch of a national
Associate Transport Minister and Dunedin list MP Michael
Woodhouse launched the Train Brain campaign at St
Bernadette's School with representatives from KiwiRail and
TrackSAFE NZ yesterday.
The school won a national rail safety video competition for
primary school children, after submitting a rap song
performed by year 6 pupils Madison D'Arcy, Emily Kerr-Bell,
Ona Fraser and Rosaberry Vaughan.
The 11-year-olds performed the rap, written in collaboration
with classmates, for Mr Woodhouse, guests and fellow pupils
at the school yesterday.
''Come on guys get train wise. Use your train brain,'' they
Not even Olympic sprint champion Usain Bolt could outrun a
train, the children said.
''We wrote it as a class. Each person made up a couple of
sentences they thought would go well in it, and we put them
together. Then we used the green screen in the hall to film
it, and it was edited to look like we were on the [rail]
track,'' Emily said.
Mr Woodhouse applauded the ''fantastic'' rap video, and
explained why train safety was so important.
He said trains went through level crossings 15,000 times
every day in New Zealand, and anyone crossing train tracks or
walking nearby was responsible for their own safety, as
drivers were unable to stop suddenly or divert trains.
If you were to come into contact with a train the result
would be really, really bad,'' he told the children.
KiwiRail chief executive and TrackSAFE NZ chairman Jim Quinn
said there were 245 reported cases of trespass on the rail
network and 145 ''near misses'' at level crossings to date
''There has also been a small increase in the number of
collisions at level crossings so far this year and we are
pleading with the public to please stop taking risks with
trains,'' he said.
Three of the 18 collisions involving vehicles at level
crossings were fatal.
Trespass included people walking across or jumping off rail
bridges, crossing tracks anywhere other than at level
crossings, and walking along the rail line.
Mr Quinn said he was particularly worried about children
playing near train tracks during the summer holidays.
There also tended to be more vehicle collisions with trains
as Christmas approached and people travelled for holidays, he