Yesterday the Longview Police Department shared an important message on Facebook to our community. Most people already know this is is a very unsafe practice, but did you know it's actually law in Texas?

The photo posted above consists of three big 'no-nos'.

  1. You should absolutely not have your child on the tracks. Maybe it's OK to you because you're watching, but what you're teaching your kid is that it's OK to do it.
  2. Cameras and posing for photos is one of the most distracting and most dangerous things you can do when something big is charging your way without a chance to stop. You wouldn't take a selfie on a highway, would you?
  3. Just being on the tracks is illegal according to the Texas Penal Code. You can check the whole document in the link, but to paraphrase:

(b) A person commits an offense if the person:
(1) throws an object or discharges a firearm or weapon at a train or rail-mounted work equipment;  or
(2) without the effective consent of the owner:
(A) enters or remains on railroad property, knowing that it is railroad property;
(B) tampers with railroad property;
(C) places an obstruction on a railroad track or right-of-way;  or
(D) causes in any manner the derailment of a train, railroad car, or other railroad property that moves on tracks.
(c) An offense under Subsection (b)(1) is a Class B misdemeanor unless the person causes bodily injury to another, in which event the offense is a felony of the third degree.

Please, please, please stay off the tracks and let your children know it is both unsafe and illegal. Let's not forget about the tragedy of a 19-year-old model who was fatally struck by a train Navasota in March.