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York based Network Rail Teams Up With A Famous Musician

Professor Green

12:01am 15th August 2012

Music artist Professor Green is encouraging people to stop listening to his music. But why?

Well he's teamed up with York based Network Rail for its latest safety campaign.

They're asking people to remove their headphones at level crossings so they aren't distracted from warnings about approaching trains.

In 2010, a cyclist reported to have been wearing headphones was involved in a near miss incident at Joan Croft level crossing near Doncaster.

In the past five years, train drivers or railway staff have reported 19 incidents where pedestrians, joggers or cyclists wearing headphones have crossed the railway, seemingly oblivious to the approaching train.

The new digital campaign 'Lose Your Headphones' features the popular rapper in a video which will appear on the music streaming service Spotify as well as being promoted via social media sites such as Twitter.

Network Rail is also encouraging people to spread the word about removing headphones by offering a prize of Sonos music speakers to five lucky winners who re-tweet the campaign message.

Professor Green spoke about why he's supporting the new campaign:

"I never imagined asking people to stop listening to my music but this is about staying safe, so just for a minute, I want them to stop. I know it's very easy to get caught up in a track when you have your headphones on and get distracted from where you are and what's around you but I'm asking, please, lose your headphones when at a level crossing and pay attention to all the safety warnings. I don't want anyone to end up on the tracks listening to one of mine."

PICTURED: Professor Green

Professor Green

Phil Verster, route managing director for York based Network Rail, said:

"Headphones are a part of everyday life for many people. However at level crossings it is important to use all your senses to make sure you are staying safe. We hope that this campaign will encourage users to take a moment to take off their headphones and give full attention to using the crossing properly.

"Even with safety warnings such as lights and signs at railway crossings, it's easy to get distracted. With trains travelling at speeds of up to 125mph, that's a risk that could cost you your life."

Dr Bruno Fazenda, from the Acoustics Research Centre, University of Salford said:

"Hearing is the only sense that can warn us of dangers we can't see and when listening to music with headphones we become isolated and are less likely to hear sounds that might tell us of approaching dangers. It's not just the volume of the music but also because the headphone itself blocks out ambient noise. There is also plenty of evidence which shows that when you are doing two activities at the same time, such as listening to music or texting and crossing a railway track, your attention gets divided in such a way that you might not notice an approaching train even if all the warning signals are there. I love listening to music on the go but I would definitely put up with just a few moments of dull silence for a better chance to keep my life."

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