By Derek Schlennstedt
Metro Trains Melbourne has released disturbing footage of parents losing control of their prams at train stations, resulting in them rolling over the edge of the platform and landing straight onto the tracks.
Amid the footage is a grandmother or carer who parks her pram on the Upper Ferntree Gully train station at a slight angle.
Within seconds the three-wheeled stroller rolls towards the tracks, and before the lady can react it drops over the edge onto the train tracks – the child is seen unharmed after the lady struggles to lift it from the tracks.
This is only one video of a dozen that Metro Trains Melbourne has recorded in the last nine months and has now released in a bid to raise awareness about the continuing trend.
The shocking spate of infant-related pram incidents is enough to convince Metro to devote a new campaign with the simple message ‘Turn, Brake, Hold’.
Rob Guest, Metro director of Customer Experience, said it was important for parents to pay close attention while at train stations and to utilise the pram’s safety mechanisms.
“It’s easy to be distracted as a parent, but it’s crucial to be vigilant around trains,” he said.
“It’s a simple message, but a really important one: turn, brake and hold your pram.
“When at the station, turn your pram parallel to the tracks, apply the brake, and always hold onto your pram.
Each year hundreds of different prams come onto the market and Jason Chambers, general manager from KidSafe said that all models sold by Australian retailers were required to meet strict safety guidelines which require them to have a wrist strap, red brake handle and five-point harness.
Jason advised that the safety mechanisms should be used at all times and noted that it doesn’t take a steep incline for prams to roll.
“The footage shows it can happen really quickly and that it can just be that quick turning away for a split second.
“Prams don’t require a steep slope for it to roll, even in windy conditions they can begin to roll,” he said.
“The safety mechanisms should be used not just for train stations but parks, playgrounds, near roads, when people are walking, and near any hazardous areas.”
In response to the trend of prams rolling off train stations, Metro has announced that it will provide new emergency buttons that will be put in place at all of its stations to provide real-time assistance to anyone facing such predicaments in the future.