September is Rail Safety Month in California, and September 22-28, 2019 is Rail Safety Week across the nation. Rail safety is a team effort. We are doing our part to decrease rail-related accidents and save lives through education outreach and enforcement efforts.
This year Metrolink will put $80,000 toward this effort with an additional $20,000 from Operation Lifesaver (OLI), a nonprofit organization dedicated to rail safety education and programs, for a total investment of $100,000 to this safety campaign.
Every three hours in the U.S. there is an incident involving a train and a person or vehicle. These incidents happen too often and are preventable.
To help mitigate these eye-opening findings we are partnering with OLI, member agencies, law enforcement and other rail operators to encourage positive behavior around train tracks and crossings.
Metrolink will host several events throughout the month of September to promote the importance of rail safety such as our Safety Summit and directed enforcements. We will also work with schools and businesses near tracks and crossings, as well as have a robust campaign on social media.
In February, Metrolink installed Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) on all its trains and provided hands-on and online resources to instruct employees, riders and the public on how to use the life-saving technology.
Since safety is at the heart of Metrolink’s daily operations, our dedication to provide safe and reliable service goes beyond the month of September.
To encourage safe behavior near tracks and to reduce incidents across our rail system, we ask everyone to join us and do their part to share safety tips and be “track smart.”
Below are some safety tips everyone should keep in mind while near a train track.
- Red lights indicate a train is approaching from either direction. Never walk around or behind lowered gates at a crossing and do not cross the tracks until the lights have stopped flashing.
- Stay alert around railroad tracks. Don’t text or use headphones, and do avoid other distractions that would prevent you from hearing an approaching train.
- Lives are at stake. Vehicles at train crossings and pedestrians walking on tracks account for 95 percent of all rail-related deaths. Almost all of these deaths are preventable. Don’t become a statistic. Be aware of railroad tracks and crossing gates when walking or driving.
- More than 50 percent of people who die while walking on railroad tracks have alcohol or drugs in their system. Always make responsible decisions with your safety in mind.
- By the time a locomotive engineer sees a person or vehicle on the tracks it’s too late. It takes the average train traveling at 55 mph more than a mile to stop. Don’t try to beat a train. They are approaching faster than it seems.