Operation Lifesaver, the national nonprofit rail safety education organization, launched a new video public service announcement (VPSA) to combat dangerous driver behavior at railroad crossings.
"As more than 40 countries worldwide work together to promote safety at all railroad crossings on June 3, International Level Crossing Awareness Day (ILCAD), Operation Lifesaver is pleased to release the latest VPSA as part of our 'See Tracks? Think Train!’ campaign,'” said Operation Lifesaver President/CEO Joyce Rose. “The video demonstrates in a very compelling way the potential danger that drivers face at highway-rail grade crossings and the tremendous force of a train hitting a car on the tracks.”
Operation Lifesaver partnered with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), who partially funded the new video public service announcement, along with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) on the new VPSA.
“As more and more communities around the country choose to build new or expanded light rail and streetcar services, it is vitally important that we educate people who may be unfamiliar with these new transit services to learn how to be safe around transit tracks, trains and rail crossings,” said Acting Federal Transit Administrator Therese McMillan.
Operation Lifesaver launched the “See Tracks? Think Train!” campaign in 2014 and developed this new VPSA in response to an increase in 2014 railroad crossing incidents. Preliminary 2014 statistics from the FRA cite an increase of 8.9% in crossing incidents and 16.4% in crossing-related deaths; crossing-related injuries fell 13.3%.
“Operation Lifesaver’s mission is to end collisions, deaths and injuries at highway-rail grade crossings and on rail property, so naturally we are extremely concerned about last year’s increase in incidents and deaths,” said Rose.
The VPSA will be distributed to TV stations in states where the most crossing collisions occurred last year, according to the FRA statistics.