Train surfing has to be stamped out

A few years ago “train surfing” burst into popular consciousness, shocking anyone who could read and watch TV.

Every so often newspapers, including The Citizen, carry stories about youths being hurt or killed while surfing trains. Yesterday, The Star reported about a boy who was killed while partaking in this terrible activity. His family spoke to The Citizen and disputed that he was train surfing, saying he was trying to get onto the train.

Be that as it may, if reports of train commuters are anything to go by, the scourge of teenagers hanging out of trains, riding on their roofs and jumping in and out of moving carriages is a common sight. Sociologists could have a field day explaining this phenomenon through socioeconomic realities and a society on edge, but the sheer danger makes this a societal priority.

Metrorail is quoted talking about Safety Fridays which include school visits, as well as security on platforms and in trains. Clearly this is not working, and it is time for all stakeholders to stop being reactive and start being proactive. How many lives need to be lost before it is stamped out once and for all? Realistically, it will cost more money and resources to enforce the clampdown, but that is a small price to pay in the greater scheme of things.


today in print