Operation Lifesaver Inc.(OLI), in partnership with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), announced that $200,000 in grants will be awarded to 12 state Operation Lifesaver programs for a variety of rail crossing safety and anti-trespassing public education projects. Most of the projects will incorporate elements from the nonprofit safety group’s “See Tracks? Think Train!” public awareness campaign.
The grants will be awarded to Operation Lifesaver organizations in Alabama, California, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Minnesota, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Tennessee and Washington; individual grant awards will range from $1,800 to $20,000.
“These important grants will support the strategic rail safety efforts in 12 of Operation Lifesaver’s state programs, with a goal to further Operation Lifesaver’s mission of eliminating collisions, injuries and deaths at crossings and along rail property,” said OLI’s President/CEO Bonnie Murphy. “Thanks to our ongoing partnership with the Federal Railroad Administration, we are able to reach more people with lifesaving rail safety messages in many states where the highest number of incidents occur.”
The approved grants were awarded through a competitive process, with selection based on criteria such as successfully leveraging the federal funds with private partnerships, targeted messaging and the frequency of pedestrian-train incidents and highway-rail collisions.
Murphy noted that Operation Lifesaver plans to announce the results of similar grant programs for rail crossing safety and rail transit safety education projects later this year.
Grants funded by the FRA grants include:
- Alabama Operation Lifesaver will run a radio campaign with “See Tracks? Think Train!” PSAs in cities on their 40-city Rail Safety Tour that commemorates the program’s 40th anniversary.
- California Operation Lifesaver will run comprehensive campaigns that include “See Tracks? Think Train!” ads at a minor league baseball field and billboards in high risk areas of the state.
- Florida Operation Lifesaver will conduct a safety campaign in the All Aboard Florida corridor, where new high-speed passenger rail will run, focusing on outreach to students in schools.
- Illinois Operation Lifesaver will place “See Tracks? Think Train!” banners on the exterior of Metra train cars.