15 February 2016
RMT Press Office
RAIL UNION RMT today warned of a growing threat of lasers being shone into the eyes of train drivers with the union calling for any review in the wake of the Virgin Atlantic incident at the weekend to include the impact of the ready availability of high-powered lasers on the wider transport industry.
RMT has logged a number of incidents including a high-profile case in Montrose late last year.
RMT general secretary Mick Cash said;
“The threat of lasers being shone into the eyes of train drivers is an issue that the Government and the authorities must start taking seriously as the broader issue of the availability of these devices hits the headlines.
“Pilots work in pairs and at least have some back up whereas train drivers work alone and a laser in the eyes before approaching a signal could have a catastrophic impact. It is also a lot easier to target trains with these devices from alongside and above the tracks. De-staffing our railways, and cutting back on inspections, just opens the door for those with criminal intent.”
“RMT wants to see the threat to our members, and the services they operate, from the wide-spread availability of these high-powered laser devices figuring as a priority in the safety considerations that we are being told are now underway.”