"Stay Safe. Stay off the Tracks."

That's the message from the St. Mary Parish Sheriff's Office to the people they serve as people getting killed while out on the railroad tracks is trending upward.

And our selfie culture has a part to play in these fatalities.

In a Facebook post on the St. Mary Parish Sheriff's Office page, Sheriff Blaise Smith notes that people in search of that "perfect selfie" or portrait are getting on train tracks, especially in the last few years.

" ," says Sheriff Smith in the press release, also noting that trains can be deceptive. "Train tracks are a VERY dangerous place to take pictures, video, and walk on."

As Sheriff Smith notes, taking pictures on railroad tracks in not only dangerous, but against the law.

Some sobering statistics from the Federal Railroad Administration say 1,105 trespassers were killed or injured by trains in 2020. Yet, the number of fatalities in 2021 has already passed up the number posted in 2020. We're only in the fourth month of 2021.

Some other sobering statistics:
- 7200 trespassers have been killed on train tracks since 1997.
- 6400 trespassers have been seriously injured on train tracks since 1997.
Local professional photographers are even banding together to encourage people to quit taking these photos, as they themselves have to do the same thing..
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  • “To be a better photographer, be a better person. Respect yourself, your client, and other people’s property. Be safe and stay off the tracks.” -Jim Byron, La’ Portrait Gallery
  • “I’ve done it in the past, but as the old saying goes, when you know better, you DO better. Illegal is one thing, but taking care of your clients and ensuring their safety is also the law.” -Courtney Long, Schola Designs & Consultation
  • “There are too many other options that are available when shooting on location that are legal and safe besides the railroad tracks.” -Abigail Askew, Abigail Kathleen Photography
  • “Simply put, stay off the train tracks. Not only is it illegal, it is very dangerous!” -Kennidy Boudreaux, Kennidy Photography
  • "I’d rather tell my clients “Sorry, but let’s find somewhere else” rather than attend funerals or get caught up in legal fees. Shooting on tracks is extremely dangerous and illegal. I’m happy to see the St. Mary Parish Sheriff's Office posting about this." -Ashlin Buford, Lily Kay Photography

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