Public Urged to Help #STOPTrackTragedies During Rail Safety Week 2022 and Beyond
WASHINGTON, D.C. / OTTAWA, Canada / MEXICO CITY, Mexico – Every year, 2,100 North Americans are killed or seriously injured when they engage in unsafe behavior around tracks and trains. In the U.S. alone, a person or vehicle is hit by a train every 3 hours.
Operation Lifesaver, Inc. (OLI), Operation Lifesaver Canada and the Mexican Association of Railroads (AMF) are once again joining forces to help prevent tragedies around railroad tracks and trains by observing Rail Safety Week (RSW) across North America, September 19-25. This annual week-long event concentrates public attention on the need for rail safety education and saves lives by educating and empowering the public to make safe decisions around tracks and trains.
OLI’s national office and state Operation Lifesaver programs across the U.S. will connect with their communities virtually and in person, sharing rail safety messages and urging the public to help #STOPTrackTragedies.
“Rail Safety Week concentrates the public awareness and education campaigns that occur all year long across the country into one jam-packed week. Each day this week, Operation Lifesaver state programs will share rail safety messages in support of our core mission – to save lives,” said Rachel Maleh, Executive Director of Operation Lifesaver, Inc. “Each day focuses on a different audience with customized rail safety messages in support of our core mission – saving lives. This annual event brings together Operation Lifesaver state programs, North American safety partners and our partners at the U.S. Department of Transportation along with the many other organizations who share the rail safety message – this week, and all year round.”
Everyone can help by taking – and sharing – the Operation Lifesaver Rail Safety Pledge,” Maleh continued. “Together, we can #STOPTrackTragedies.”
As part of Rail Safety week, new video and audio public service announcements (PSAs) as well as social media campaigns are being released. An ongoing campaign called #STOPTrackTragedies features videos with the personal stories of people directly affected by rail crossing or trespassing incidents — including victims, friends and family members, locomotive engineers, and first responders. The full campaign can be viewed at oli.org/stop-track-tragedies or stoptracktragedies.ca.
“Our goal for Rail Safety Week is to remind Canadians that making an unsafe decision around tracks and trains — whether it’s to train-hop, ignore railway signs and signals, or to send a text while driving — can tear lives apart: yours, those of your loved ones, and members of your community,” said Sarah Mayes, National Director of Operation Lifesaver Canada. “We’re calling on everyone to do their part to #STOPTrackTragedies.”
“We are excited to join Rail Safety Week 2022,” said Iker de Luisa, Director General, Association of Mexican Railroads (AMF). “We urge drivers, passengers and anyone traveling near railroad tracks and trains to use common sense and be alert. Our priority is the promotion of safe interactions between railroads and the community. #VesViasPiensaEnTren #CuidaTuVida.”
In the U.S., along with the PSAs and a social media ad campaign, the following themes will be emphasized:
- Monday, September 19 kicks off the week with the overarching theme of #STOPTrackTragedies and a focus on Media Outreach and Rail Safety Week Proclamations in states and localities as well as urging people to take the Operation Lifesaver Rail Safety Pledge.
- Tuesday, September 20 focuses on the annual observance of Operation Clear Track in the U.S. and Canada emphasizing the importance of obeying crossing safety and anti-trespass laws. Law enforcement partners will conduct awareness exercises, Officer on the Train activities and other in person positive enforcement events; first responders will share RSW messages virtually through social media, email messaging and website posts.
- Wednesday, September 21 highlights Crossing Safety, with outreach to the general public including new and mature drivers, shift workers, school bus drivers and farmers as well as outdoor enthusiasts on safe crossing techniques with special attention to the Blue and White Emergency Notification System (ENS) signs at crossings.
- Thursday, September 22, Transit Safety Thursday and Professional Driver Safety, showcases how to stay safe as a rail commuter or transit rider as well as safe choices around railroad tracks and trains for professional drivers.
- Friday, September 23 focuses on Volunteering for Operation Lifesaver along with Wearing Red or “Red Out” for Rail Safety by encouraging safety organizations, partners, schools, railroads and the general public to wear red at public events and to share photos on social media.
- Saturday, September 24 highlights Trespass Prevention, educating pedestrians, cyclists, joggers, college students, people experiencing homelessness and outdoor enthusiasts about the dangers posed by being on or near the tracks.
- Sunday, September 25 promotes No Photo, Video or Selfie is Worth the Risk, to warn professional and amateur photographers as well as social media influencers against putting themselves or others in danger by illegally taking photos, videos, or filming near tracks and trains.
Join the virtual Rail Safety Week effort by knowing the facts, making good decisions, taking the Rail Safety Pledge and sharing rail safety messages. Together, we can #STOPTrackTragedies. -###-
About Operation Lifesaver, Inc.
Operation Lifesaver, which this year celebrates the 50th anniversary of its founding in 1972, is a non-profit public safety education and awareness organization dedicated to reducing collisions, fatalities and injuries at highway-rail crossings and preventing trespassing on or near railroad tracks. In 1986 the non-profit Operation Lifesaver, Inc. (OLI) national office was created to help support and coordinate efforts of state Operation Lifesaver programs, saving lives by sharing rail safety messages with audiences across the U.S. and beyond. OLI programs are active in 47 states and the District of Columbia. A national network of trained volunteers gives free rail safety presentations encouraging safe behavior near tracks and trains. OLI’s free Railroad Investigation and Safety Course (RISC) provides critical information for first responders when managing incidents around tracks and trains. Learn more about OLI and Rail Safety Week; follow OLI on social media via Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube.
About Operation Lifesaver Canada
Operation Lifesaver Canada is a national public rail-safety program sponsored by Transport Canada, the Railway Association of Canada and its members, including CN, CP, VIA Rail, Metrolinx, exo, West Coast Express and Genesee & Wyoming, among others. OL works in partnership with railways, law enforcement agencies, governments, and other safety focused organizations to promote rail safety. Through its national network of Rail Safety Ambassadors, partnerships with safety councils, police, the trucking industry and community groups, and innovative tools such as its virtual-reality Look. Listen. Live. campaign, Operation Lifesaver Canada works to save lives by educating Canadians about the hazards of rail crossings and trespassing on railway property. Canadians can keep up-to-date on the latest rail safety news by visiting operationlifesaver.ca.
About the Mexican Association of Railroads (AMF)
The Asociación Mexicana de Ferrocarriles, AC (AMF) was established in 2004 to represent the country’s private railway companies and promote their activity. In 2008 passenger rail companies joined the AMF. Learn more at https://amf.org.mx/ and follow AMF on Twitter.