Security and Safety

Increase in rail trespass deaths shows continued safety education is key

Posted on March 24, 2015

An alarming increase in deaths to pedestrians trespassing on railroad tracks across the U.S. in 2014 shows the continued importance of safety education efforts, rail safety nonprofit Operation Lifesaver Inc. (OLI) President/CEO Joyce Rose says today at a National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) forum.

“It is a privilege to be part of NTSB’s forum Trains and Trespassers: Ending Tragic Encounters and speak on the Trespasser Prevention Strategies panel to discuss Operation Lifesaver’s mission to prevent collisions, injuries and fatalities on and around railroad tracks and grade crossings,” Rose states. Operation Lifesaver shares these important trespass prevention messages through a national network of trained volunteers, as well as through online safety materials and public awareness campaigns.

“Our latest campaign, “See Tracks? Think Train!” highlights the danger of trespassing, and has raised awareness of the tragic results that can occur when people trespass,” Rose says. “We are fortunate to have a trespass survivor, Mark Kalina, Jr., as our campaign spokesperson.” Kalina, Jr. is also a featured speaker at the NTSB forum.

The campaign, launched in 2014 with the help of the Federal Railroad Administration, Federal Transit Administration and Association of American Railroads, features bilingual television, radio, print and billboard advertisements with the message that being on the tracks is illegal and dangerous.

RELATED: Reinforcing Rail Safety to Prevent Crossing, Trespassing Incidents

“We are continuing the award-winning “See Tracks? Think Train!” campaign through 2015, adding a new video public service announcement to our suite of materials, and providing grant assistance to our state programs to support TV, radio, and billboard PSA placement in key states,” Rose notes.

RELATED: How Operation Lifesaver can help your transit system's safety program

“The preliminary 2014 trespass statistics demonstrate the continuing importance of rail safety education,” Rose continued. “We look forward to working with the NTSB and other partners to help stop these preventable trespassing tragedies,” she concludes.

Operation Lifesaver's mission is to end collisions, deaths and injuries at highway-rail grade crossings and along railroad rights of way. A national network of trained volunteers provides free presentations on rail safety. Learn more at; follow OLI on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

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