Management & Operations

Operation Lifesaver Bus Wrap Promotes Rail Safety

Posted on February 23, 2000

The Jacksonville (Fla.) Transportation Authority and Florida Operation Lifesaver teamed up to promote safety at railway grade crossings by wrapping a bus with FOL's safety message. The "Look, Listen and Live" message was placed on one of JTA's buses in January, where it will stay for at least 18 months. The wrap was created to raise the public's awareness about the dangers of disregarding laws at highway-rail intersections and railroad tracks. "It delivers a safety message in a somewhat unique way," said Marci Larson, manager of communication and marketing at JTA. JTA is the first transit agency to have such a bus wrap, but Larson said she hopes other transit agencies agree to a similar partnership. "I can see it catching on like wildfire," said Anne Brewer, state coordinator for FOL. "It's easy to do and is a great rolling billboard." The production cost for the wrap itself was $9,000 and the bus was provided to FOL by JTA at no cost. Gateway Outdoor Advertising and the Florida Department of Transportation were also involved in the project. Brewer said the bus has generated more discussions about safety, even by passengers on the bus. Both Brewer and Larson agree that discussion and education is important when it comes to rail safety. "People need to learn that the train can't stop quickly, but the motorist can," Larson said. In preliminary statistics for January to September 1999, 27 people were killed and 16 injured while trespassing on railroad tracks in Florida, according to FOL. Brewer said that 60% of accidents still occur where active warnings are in place.

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