Railroad Safety Campaign

7639855_mLast year, when the statistics came in for 2012, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) was celebrating and calling it the safest year in the rail industry’s history. And then, in 2013, there was a spike in railroad deaths. In response to the increase in deaths Operation Lifesaver Inc. (OLI), has partnered with the AAR, Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), and the Federal Transit Administration to launch a safety campaign called “See Tracks? Think Train.”

“See Tracks? Think Train.” Safety Campaign

Officials are still trying to figure exactly why deaths went up in 2013, but distractions and taking unnecessary risks on and near railroad tracks seem to play a large role and are targets of the campaign.

Railroad safety has been improving, and the number of most types of accidents has decreased significantly in recent years, but trespassing accidents and railroad crossing accidents have increased. This suggests that railroads are doing well in their efforts, but the general public still needs to be educated on the dangers on walking on or near the tracks, and following safety protocols for crossing.

The campaign will include TV, radio, billboard, and print ads, targeting drivers and pedestrians. Safety information included applies not only to traditional trains, but also to light rail and commuter trains.

Railroad Safety Tips

  • Trains cannot stop fast enough to avoid hitting a car or pedestrian, even if the engineers sees you. It can take more than a mile to stop a train.
  • Trains are much wider than their tracks, so you need to stay back. Trains typically overhang the tracks by three feet on each side.
  • Only cross at designated crossings, even if it’s faster and easier to cross elsewhere.
  • Stay off of railroad trestles. If a train comes, there is nowhere for you to go to get out of the way.
  • Pay attention when you are near tracks, waiting for a train, or crossing the tracks. Put away your phone, headphones, and other devices.
  • Never try to beat a train.
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