Caltrain premieres youth-oriented rail safety films

Posted on October 2, 2013

Caltrain capped off Rail Safety Month with a film festival featuring student-produced films about rail safety.

In August, student filmmakers from Fresh Takes, a youth digital arts program, received rail safety awareness training and toured the property with Caltrain staff to learn about the challenges faced by commuter rail systems operating through a densely populated service area. Caltrain has worked for more than 20 years to educate the Peninsula community about how to stay safe while living, working and going to school near an active rail corridor.  

“Working with these students to produce rail safety messages is a powerful way to help us connect with the next generation of Peninsula residents who share their communities with our tracks,” said Chuck Harvey, Caltrain’s deputy CEO, operations, construction and engineering. “These videos are a powerful tool for reminding our youth that nothing is worth more than their lives.”

The messages in the videos were consistent — when near an active railroad, be aware, be cautious, and be safe. The delivery of these core messages covers a wide range, from powerfully emphasizing the tragedy of inattention to a more light hearted approach to keeping kids away from the tracks. To view the videos, visit Caltrain’s blog Peninsula Moves.

The short video vignettes were produced and paid for through a rail safety grant obtained by Caltrain from Operation Lifesaver and the Federal Transit Administration.  

Caltrain is committed to the three “E’s” of safety outreach: education, engineering and enforcement.

As a partner with Operation Lifesaver, Caltrain’s certified staff presenters spend time out in the community educating groups about rail safety and reminding residents of the importance of awareness when living and working near an active rail corridor. Caltrain’s engineering team enhances railroad safety through fencing projects, grade separations such as the one nearing completion in San Bruno and pedestrian crossing and station design improvements.

Transit Police also play a pivotal role in enforcing safe behaviors along the active corridor. In the past year, more than 600 people have been removed from dangerous locations along the corridor. More than 50 people who were reportedly “in crisis” were escorted to safety, some of whom had expressed thoughts of suicide.  

The majority of deaths on Caltrain’s tracks are ruled to be suicides. To address this sensitive issue, Caltrain works with local mental health and suicide education and awareness organizations to raise awareness and money to combat mental health issues and prevent suicide.  

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