Dan Stamm

SEPTA Warns Train Tracks Can Be a Deadly Place for Selfies

Don’t take that selfie on the tracks.

SEPTA warned amateur and professional photographers alike to not use train tracks as the perfect backdrop.

“When it comes to train tracks, there is no picture-perfect setting,” said SEPTA’s assistant general manager of system safety Scott Sauer. “In fact, if you take photos or shoot video on the tracks, that picture or film might be the last footage you take. Tracks are for trains. They are not photo or movie studios.”

SEPTA referenced a Priceonomics study that found train tracks to be the third-most deadly place to snap a selfie (just behind falling and drowning).

“The place for selfies, family, engagement, wedding and school photos might be a studio or a park, but not the rail right-of-way,” said Sauer. “No one should ever assume that there is a time when tracks are completely clear of train traffic. A train can come on any track at any time in any direction.”

SEPTA said that often even if the train engineer spots someone trespassing on the tracks, the train might not be able to stop in time.

“You can’t slam on the brakes and expect a vehicle that large to stop instantaneously,” said Sauer. “And trains can’t swerve around a person or object in its path.”

Besides being dangerous, going on the tracks is often also illegal and can also lead to unsafe conditions for commuters, said SEPTA.

“Tripods can be tripping hazards to passengers entering and exiting trains,” said Sauer. “Lights on cameras and flashes can also be a distraction to or momentarily blind engineers.”

SEPTA asked anyone with questions about authorized photos to contact its media relations department at 215-580-7842.

Contact Us