Rap artist Professor Green is asking people to stop listening to his music in order to stay safe, as part of a campaign with Network Rail.
The campaign wants to discourage people listening to music through their headphones, so they don’t miss warnings at level crossings.
Over the past five years, train drivers or railway staff have reported 19 incidents where people have been using headphones and were oblivious to approaching trains.
Professor Green said: “I never imagined asking people to stop listening to my music but this is about staying safe, so just for a minute, I want them to stop.
“I know it’s very easy to get caught up in a track when you have your headphones on and get distracted from where you are and what’s around you but I’m asking, please, lose your headphones when at a level crossing and pay attention to all the safety warnings.
“I don’t want anyone to end up on the tracks listening to one of mine.”
Phil Verster, route managing director for Network Rail, said: “We hope that this campaign will encourage users to take a moment to take off their headphones and give full attention to using the crossing properly.
“Even with safety warnings such as lights and signs at railway crossings, it’s easy to get distracted. With trains travelling at speeds of up to 125mph, that’s a risk that could cost you your life.”
Research indicates that hearing is an important part of getting warning of approaching danger when we can’t see it and headphones skew this.
Dr Bruno Fazenda, from the University of Salford Acoustics Research Centre said: “Hearing is the only sense that can warn us of dangers we can’t see and when listening to music with headphones we become isolated and are less likely to hear sounds that might tell us of approaching dangers.
“It’s not just the volume of the music but also because the headphone itself blocks out ambient noise.”