The tradition of jumping off the Ngaruawahia rail bridge could be coming to an end.
Kids climbing on to the railway, lining up and taking turns bombing into the river below has been a summer activity in the small Waikato town for generations.
But the activity has been a safety concern for a number of years.
Community groups have been working together to spread the safety message and hopefully break the tradition.
On Thursday, an event aimed at educating primary school kids about rail, road, water and animal safety was held.
About 250 children gathered at The Point in Ngaruawahia for the sessions.
The day included lessons from Civil Defence, Animal Control, road safety, St John, the fire brigade, police and KiwiRail.
Poor kids. An entire day of being lectured about safety. You’d want to jump off a bridge afterwards to cool off.
Zahcree Tumai, 12, said he learnt that a train is as fast as a cheetah but that wasn’t going to deter him from jumping from the bridge.
Excellent. The key difference being a train won’t follow you off the bridge into the river!
Youth aide officer constable Peter Wiggins said it was an ongoing issue but he had noticed fewer kids taking the risk this year.
“Our view is looking at the long term thing. We want to get key messages out so they don’t become the next generation of bridge jumpers.
Why not? Has there been any actual harm done by the bridge jumping?