California September Rail Safety Month and Rail Safety Week 2019

Thank You and Rail Safety Commitment

Each year since the California Legislature proclaimed September as Rail Safety Month and presented the proclamation to California Operation Lifesaver (CAOL) and Union Pacific Railroad, CAOL and our Rail Safety Partners across the State collaborate each September to intensify our rail safety campaigns. The goal is to draw attention to and change the dangerous behaviors along railroad rights of way.

Rail Safety is a year-round commitment. CAOL, along with our partners, address rail safety issues and work on raising awareness daily throughout the year with a variety of methods and outreach to all audiences. In September, we emphasize rail safety campaigns and messages to enhance that awareness and cultivate community involvement. Enter, Rail Safety Week in 2017, when the U.S. and Canada began a yearly effort in the last week of September to bring rail safety best practices to the forefront nationwide.

Rail Safety Week continues each year in the last week of September.
In September 2019, California Operation Lifesaver had one of its busiest and most successful Rail Safety Months and Rail Safety Weeks. California September Rail Safety Month and Rail Safety Week (in US and Canada) sped by in a whirlwind of our CAOL Presenter Team endeavors, rail safety campaigns, presentations, events, community involvement, Law Enforcement and First Responder participation and Rail Safety Partner lead events and support.

The incredible work of everyone involved; our CAOL Team, our Rail Safety Partners, our Law Enforcement, and our Communities, highlighted our mutual dedication to changing grade crossing incidents and trespass casualty statistics.

California Operation Lifesaver is grateful to our amazing team of Presenters who tirelessly provide education and outreach in California communities. We appreciate and value our Rail Safety Partners, without whose support we could not accomplish our rail safety outreach mission. Thank you to our Law Enforcement, First Responders, and Communities for your commitment to our message and helping us share our message.

As we enter the last quarter of the year, we know that we must continue to work together with the commitment to do all we can to become a rail safety aware and rail safe society. We know that raising awareness does not end here. Once the commitment is made, the message needs to be ongoing even as the numbers decline. We must maintain education, rail safety messaging, and rail safety partnerships so that we can ensure safe behavior along railroad rights of way. Together we can save lives.

We ask that you tell five of your family and friends to always practice rail safety and ask those 5 to tell 5 and those 5 to tell 5… together we can change the numbers and grow the message. #SaveLivesTell5
Thank you everyone for RSM RSW 4 (2)

Save Lives Tell 5 (3)

About California Operation Lifesaver
California Operation Lifesaver (CAOL, www.caol.us) is an independent non-profit safety education and awareness program dedicated to ending collisions, fatalities and injuries at highway-rail grade crossings and on railroad rights of way in the State of California.  CAOL leads a statewide observance of September Rail Safety Month as proclaimed by the California Legislature in 2008. We celebrate Rail Safety Week (9/22-9/28) across the nation with Operation Lifesaver (www.oli.org). Follow CAOL on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter  Blog . Learn more about Rail Safety Week; follow OLI on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter

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California Operation Lifesaver notes increase in 2018 crossing collisions; pedestrian-train casualties rose from 2017 levels

Preliminary Rail Crossing and Trespass Statistics, 2017 vs. 2018 –                              Source: FRA Office of Safety Analysis

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Sacramento, CA April 11, 2019 – Collisions at highway-rail grade crossings in California rose by 14.5 percent in 2018 and rail trespass casualties (deaths plus injuries) rose 3 percent according to the nonprofit rail safety education organization California Operation Lifesaver, http://www.caol.us. The group cited preliminary 2018 Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) statistics.

“We are concerned with this increase in highway-rail grade crossing collisions,” said California Operation Lifesaver Executive Director Nancy Sheehan. “We will continue our work educating people across California about how to keep themselves, their friends and their families safe near tracks and trains to avoid these preventable tragedies,” said Sheehan.

Nationally, vehicle-train collisions at highway-rail grade crossings rose 4.3 percent in 2018, while the number of people killed in crossing incidents stayed constant; however, the number of people injured in crossing incidents declined 2.9 percent last year. Deaths in 2018 from train track trespassing climbed 12 percent, and trespass injuries declined 6.3 percent; total trespass-related casualties (deaths plus injuries) increased 2.8 percent from 2017 levels, Sheehan said.

Overall, California crossing collisions were up 14.5 percent in 2018 from 2017, to 190; crossing fatalities rose 2.6 percent to 39; and crossing injuries rose 6.8 percent to 63, FRA statistics reveal. Trespass fatalities increased 7.9 percent in 2018 to 123, and trespass injuries fell 3.4 percent in 2018 to 86.

“This year, California will participate in September Rail Safety Month and Rail Safety Week, September 22-28,” Sheehan continued. “We look forward to working with our safety partners to raise awareness among California residents of the need to always use caution near crossings and refrain from trespassing on the tracks.” she concluded.

About California Operation Lifesaver
California Operation Lifesaver (CAOL, http://www.caol.us) is a non-profit safety education and awareness program dedicated to ending collisions, fatalities and injuries at highway-rail grade crossings and on railroad rights of way in the State of California. Our trained volunteers provide free presentations on rail safety, providing rail safety education to raise awareness to save lives. CAOL leads a statewide observance of September Rail Safety Month as proclaimed by the California Legislature in 2008. We celebrate Rail Safety Week (9/22-9/28) across the nation with Operation Lifesaver (www.oli.org). Follow CAOL on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Blog . Learn more about Rail Safety Week; follow OLI on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.

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Practice Rail Safety! It’s about Saving Lives 2018… 2019!

2019 –  California Operation Lifesaver 25th Anniversary

It’s hard to believe that 2018 has come to an end and we are embarking into 2019.

California Operation Lifesaver (CAOL) filled 2018 with outreach efforts and a year dedicated to doing all we can to raise rail safety awareness.

Our amazing team of authorized volunteer presenters dedicated their time and passion sharing our rail safety message statewide with nearly 110,000 people through their presentations and events.
Utilizing digital advertising, social media blitzes, partner and community safety outreach events, and much more, CAOL educated and urged the public to practice rail safety and avoid using dangerous behaviors near railroad tracks. Reaching over 15 million Californians with our campaign and outreach efforts, we asked the public to help us change injury and fatality statistics and share our rail safety message with their family and friends to save lives.

California ranks No 1 in Trespass Casualties (includes injuries and fatalities) and we rank No 2 in Grade Crossing Incidents. These statistics continue to demonstrate the continued need for us to do all we can to promote rail safety awareness.

Through our Rail Safety partnerships, we optimized important and essential ways to identify and increase outreach to high incident areas in need of our message. It is through these partnerships and proactive involvement of our partners and our communities that we can create additional ways to educate the public about making good decisions near railroad tracks. Enlisting community participation is a key component in changing the numbers.

2019 is the 25th Anniversary for California Operation Lifesaver. As we start the year, we carry forward our important rail safety messaging created and shared in 2018. The New Year brings new opportunities to enhance our message and work with our partners and California communities to save more lives by raising rail safety awareness.

We ask all Californians to commit to practicing rail safety all year long. We ask you to make important changes in your behavior and lead by example to avoid distractions and obey the laws and signs and signals near railroad tracks.                                   #StopTrackTragediesPractice #RailSafety 

Here are rail safety tips to help you stay safe and start of your New Year:

Freight trains don’t travel at fixed times, and schedules for passenger trains change. Always Expect a Train at each highway-rail intersection.

All train tracks are private property. Never walk on tracks; it’s illegal to trespass and is highly dangerous.

By the time a locomotive engineer sees a trespasser or vehicle on the tracks it’s too late. It takes the average freight train traveling at 55 mph more than a mile, the length of 18 football fields, to stop. Trains cannot stop quickly enough to avoid a collision.

The average locomotive weights about 400,000 pounds or 200 tons; it can weigh up to 6,000 tons. This makes the weight ratio of a car to a train proportional to that of a soda can to a car.

Trains have the right of way 100% of the time over emergency vehicles, cars, the police, and pedestrians.

A train can extend three feet or more beyond the steel rail putting the safety zone for pedestrians well beyond the three-foot mark. If there are rails on the railroad ties, always assume the track is in use, even if there are weeds or the tracks look unused.

Trains can move in either direction at any time. Sometimes their cars are              pushed by locomotives instead of being pulled, which is especially true in                    commuter and light rail passenger services.

Today’s trains are quieter than ever, producing no telltale “clickety-clack.” Any        approaching train is always closer, moving faster than you think.

Remember to cross train tracks only at designated pedestrian or roadway          crossings and obey all warning signs and signals posted there.

Stay alert around railroad tracks. No texting, headphones or other distractions that would prevent you from hearing an approaching train; never mix rails and recreation.

Please share rail safety messages with your family and friends.  #SaveLivesTell5!

California Operation Lifesaver is grateful to our team of volunteers for all they do to share rail safety education. We are thankful to our Rail Safety Partners for their support and dedication that helped us grow our message in 2018.

As we look forward to our CAOL 25th Anniversary Year, we will continue our goals to work together to change the numbers to make rail safety awareness a priority across California in 2019.

Together we can seize the opportunities the New Year brings to ALWAYS practice rail safety and save lives!

Happy New Year!
Nancy Sheehan-McCulloch – California Operation Lifesaver State Coordinator

Learn More:
Follow CAOL: www.caol.us  Facebook  Twitter  Instagram
Follow OLI:    www.oli.org   Facebook  Twitter  Instagram

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Raising Awareness to Change Dangerous Behavior on Railroad Tracks

Every three hours someone is hit by a train in the United States. On foot or in a vehicle, the result is the same — severe injury or even death.

California ranks number one in trespass casualties (injuries and fatalities). We have the highest number of fatalities in both trespass casualties and grade crossing incidents. While vehicles at train crossings and pedestrians walking on tracks account for 95% of all rail-related deaths, almost all of these deaths are preventable.

California Operation Lifesaver is dedicated to raising rail safety awareness to change dangerous behaviors on or near railroad tracks to save lives.

Don’t become a statistic, ALWAYS practice Rail Safety!
To help you practice rail safety; here are some safety tips:

  • The only safe place to cross is at a designated public crossing with either a    crossbuck, flashing red lights or a gate. If you cross at any other place, you are trespassing and can be ticketed or fined. Cross tracks ONLY at designated pedestrian or roadway crossings.
  • It can take a mile or more to stop a train, so a locomotive engineer who suddenly sees someone on the tracks will likely be unable to stop in time. Railroad property is private property. For your safety, it is illegal to be there unless you are at a designated public crossing.
  • Trains overhang the tracks by at least three feet in both directions; loose straps hanging from rail cars may extend even further. If you are in the right-of-way next to the tracks, you can be hit by the train.
  • Do not cross the tracks immediately after a train passes; A second train might be blocked by the first. Trains can come from either direction. Wait until you can see clearly around the first train in both directions.
  • Flashing red lights indicate a train is approaching from either direction. You can be fined for failure to obey these signals. Never walk around or behind lowered gates at a crossing, and DO NOT cross the tracks until the lights have stopped flashing and it’s safe to do so.
  • Do not attempt to hop aboard railroad equipment at any time. A slip of the foot can cost you a limb or your life.
  • Be aware trains do not follow set schedules. Any Time is Train Time!

You can help us raise awareness and save lives by sharing our rail safety message and asking your family and friends to always practice rail safety. Ask them to remember; whenever they See Tracks, to ALWAYS think train.

Nancy Sheehan-McCulloch – State Coordinator

About California Operation Lifesaver
California Operation Lifesaver is a nonprofit 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. Our network of trained volunteers gives free presentations on rail safety and a public awareness campaign, “See Tracks? Think Train!” provides the public with tips and statistics to encourage safe behavior near the tracks.

Learn More:
Follow CAOL: www.caol.us, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Blog
Follow OLI on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram 

revised-stt-logo-us      Save Lives Tell 5 (2)

Help Stop Track Tragedies and save lives: Tell 5 of your family and friends to ALWAYS practice rail safety and ask those 5 to tell 5 and those 5 to tell 5… #SaveLivesTell5

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Rail Safety Week – Operation Clear Track

OLI_RailSafetyWeekLogos6_30_17Evergreen             revised-stt-logo-us

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Nancy Sheehan California Operation Lifesaver, 530-832-0683, nsheehan.caol@sbcglobal.net
Jessica Puchala, Operation Lifesaver, Inc., 703-739-0308, news@oli.org
Kimberly Woods, Amtrak, 202-906-3860, MediaRelations@amtrak.com

Amtrak Police, Operation Lifesaver Mobilize Railroad Safety Operation in California
2nd Annual Law Enforcement Event Marks Rail Safety Week

Sacramento, California (September 25, 2018) – California Operation Lifesaver, the rail safety education organization, is participating in “Operation Clear Track,” the largest railroad safety law enforcement operation to date in the United States, involving more than 460 police or sheriff departments across the lower 48 states. The initiative is spearheaded by Amtrak and the national Operation Lifesaver, Inc. program during Rail Safety Week in the U.S. and Canada.

“No one should think it’s ok, even one time, to ignore grade crossing or trespassing laws on railroad property,” said Amtrak Police Chief Neil Trugman. “This safety detail will deliver that message to thousands of people in-person today to try and stop these tragic rail-related incidents that occur every day in someone’s home town.”

During “Operation Clear Track,” police will report to highway rail grade crossings in cities and counties throughout California where there have been a high number of incidents according to preliminary data by the Federal Railroad Administration. Once onsite, law enforcement officials will enforce California grade crossing and trespassing laws, writing citations and warnings to violators.

“Enforcement, education and engineering are our three best weapons against incidents involving trains,” said California Operation Lifesaver State Coordinator Nancy Sheehan. “While we have made strides in reducing deaths and injuries since our inception 46 years ago, the goal of Operation Clear Track and other Rail Safety Week activities is to empower citizens to keep themselves safe near tracks and trains. This year’s Rail Safety Week theme is ‘Stop Track Tragedies,’ and Operation Clear Track is an important part of our efforts.”

In California over the past 5 years, 623 people were killed and 623 were injured in grade crossing and trespassing incidents. California Operation Lifesaver is participating in “Operation Clear Track” and other Rail Safety Week events to reduce these incidents and empower the state’s residents to keep themselves safe near tracks and train.

Rail Safety Week is being observed in the U.S. and Canada from September 23 -29. For more information, visit http://www.oli.org/RSWeek.

About Operation Lifesaver – Operation Lifesaver is a nonprofit 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. A national network of trained volunteers gives free presentations on rail safety and a public awareness campaign, “See Tracks? Think Train!” provides the public with tips and statistics to encourage safe behavior near the tracks. Learn more about Rail Safety Week; follow OLI on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest                                                           Follow CAOL on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
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Please help us save lives share the message with at least 5 of your family and friends. Ask them to practice rail safety and to tell 5 of their friends and ask those 5 to tell 5 and so on… Help grow the message. #SaveLivesTell5

Save Lives Tell 5 (2)

 

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California Operation Lifesaver notes reduction in 2017 crossing collisions; pedestrian-train casualties rose from 2016 levels

Preliminary Rail Crossing and Trespass Statistics, 2016 vs. 2017
Source: FRA Office of Safety Analysis

CA Table from 2017 vs 2016 Stats (2)

Sacramento, California March 15, 2018 – Collisions at highway-rail grade crossings in California fell by 1.2 percent in 2017 and rail trespass casualties (deaths plus injuries) rose 18.9 % according to the nonprofit rail safety education organization California Operation Lifesaver (CAOL, http://www.caol.us). CAOL cited preliminary 2017 Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) statistics.

“We are gratified, that there was a small reduction in highway-rail grade crossing collisions,” said California Operation Lifesaver State Coordinator Nancy Sheehan.               “We are concerned with the increase in Trespasser casualties. More work is needed, and we will continue our efforts giving people across California important information on how to keep themselves, their friends and their families safe near tracks and trains to avoid these preventable tragedies,” said Sheehan.

Nationally, vehicle-train collisions at highway-rail grade crossings rose 3.1 percent in 2017, and the number of people killed in crossing incidents rose 7.4 percent; however, the number of people injured in crossing incidents declined 4.3 percent last year.                Deaths in 2017 from train track trespassing climbed 22.3 percent, and trespass injuries increased 4.6 percent; total trespass-related casualties (deaths plus injuries) increased 13.3 percent from 2016 levels, Sheehan said.

FRA statistics reveal, overall, California crossing collisions were down 1.2% percent in 2017 from 2016, to 166; crossing fatalities fell 15.8 percent to 38; and crossing injuries fell 12.3 percent to 57.

Trespass fatalities increased 33.7 percent in 2017 to 123, and trespass injuries rose 3.4 percent in 2017 to 91.

“In 2018 California Operation Lifesaver will once again participate in California Rail Safety Month in September and U.S. Rail Safety Week, September 23-29,” Sheehan continued. “We look forward to working with existing and new safety partners to raise awareness among California residents of the need to always use caution near crossings and refrain from trespassing on the tracks.” she concluded.

About California Operation Lifesaver
California Operation Lifesaver is a nonprofit 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. Our network of trained volunteers gives free presentations on rail safety and a public awareness campaign, “See Tracks? Think Train!” provides the public with tips and statistics to encourage safe behavior near the tracks. Learn more at www.caol.us, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Blog or at http://www.oli.org.

Nancy Sheehan-McCulloch – State Coordinator

See Tracks Think Train Logo (2014_10_29 16_18_16 UTC)    Save Lives Tell 5 (2)

http://twitter.com/CAOpLifeSaver                                      http://www.facebook.com/CAOperationLifesaver
Instagram: california_operation_lifesaver

 

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2017 A Year of Outreach Rolls Into 2018

2017 was filled with rail safety awareness endeavors across the state. The year teemed with a variety of methods and efforts to educate California communities about avoiding dangerous behaviors near railroad tracks. Our efforts steadfastly demonstrated the importance of making safe decisions around trains and tracks.

The year passed by quickly and California Operation Lifesaver worked year-round to meet our 2017 rail safety goals. Each month brought new opportunities to increase our efforts and participate in ways to reach high risk communities with our rail safety message.

Our amazing team of volunteers dedicated their time and passion to proactively share our rail safety message through presentations and events. As of this update, these outstanding volunteers reached over 110,000 people through their activities. CAOL is grateful to our volunteers for their continuous commitment to cultivating our message to save lives.

California Operation Lifesaver was fortunate to be awarded two special grants. The Operation Lifesaver/Federal Railroad Administration (OLI/FRA) and the Operation Lifesaver (OLI/FHWA) grant.

The OLI/FRA grant was utilized for trespassing and grade crossing campaigns during September Rail Safety month.
The grant campaigns included: September Rail Safety Month kick off events, Rail                 safety messaging at the San Bernardino 66ers, San Diego Padres  Rail Safety Week               outreach, and the Cal Poly University Week of Welcome Rail Safety Outreach.
As a part of this trespass grant our “Digital Ad Campaign” was highly successful and              provided a unique and critical method that allowed us to reach millions of people                  across California. Focused in our highest incident counties, this opportunity                            resulted in dramatic outreach that increased awareness in 13 counties.
The numbers reached as part of the digital campaign:
                    *   Rail Safety Advertising Impressions: 5,763, 187
                    *   No of Persons Clicked Through to Rail Safety Tips: 25,050
                    *   No of Persons who watched Rail Safety PSA in its entirety: 438,368

The OLI/FHWA grant focused on Grade Crossing Safety Awareness during September Rail Safety Month
  As a part of this OL/FHWA grant we participated in the Rail Safety Week Operation              Clear Track. During this campaign CAOL partnered with law enforcement                                statewide to raise rail safety education awareness as railroad PD, CHP, and local                    police performed enforcement exercises.
 –  Participated in rail safety blitz’s, Emergency Notification Sign awareness                                 campaigns, and participated with partners in Pop UP Safety Booth Events
 –  Utilizing the FHWA Grade Crossing Safety Grant funding, CAOL worked with the                 California Broadcasters Association (CBA) on TV advertising to run an Operation                 Lifesaver Grade Crossing PSA campaign. We ran the PSA in 3 Key Television                           Markets located in high rail incident counties.
The numbers Reached Via TV Ad’s in the following markets:
                 *   Sacramento/Stockton/Modesto 1,412,940
                 *   Fresno / Visalia 574,610
                 *   San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose 2,451,640

September Rail Safety Month and Rail Safety Week Partnerships
Our Rail Safety Partners supported our efforts, participated in outreach, lead some key events and invited CAOL to join them in their rail safety campaigns. Our Partners assisted in our efforts to increase rail safety education to save lives. We are grateful for our rail safety partners for their support and commitment to our mission.

Variety of Outreach
*    CAOL Volunteers provided presentations and participated in events statewide
*    Partnered with Departments of Education to create Resolutions to provide annual                 rail safety messaging to the schools in their districts
*    Pep Rally Outreach at schools
*    Working with City Councils, County Supervisors, and City Governments to                             proactively support rail safety efforts in their communities
*    Safe Routes to School Bike Rodeos
*    Participated in Ag Safety events for students and adults
*    Positive Enforcement efforts, Rail Safety Blitzes, and Safety Trains
*    Sports Venues and game outreach with announcements, banners and PSA’s
*    And much more

Current Outreach
California Operation Lifesaver is running a digital ad campaign that began November 1 and will run through January 2, 2018.
As of this week, this campaign has reached over 6 million people across California and our trespass PSA has been viewed in its entirety over 500,000 times. The reach includes high incident areas in Alameda, Contra Costa, Fresno Kern, Los Angeles, Merced, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Clara, Stanislaus, and Ventura Counties.

California Grade Crossing and Trespass Statistics
In March 2017 the FRA released the Statistics for 2016:

FRA 2016 Stats (2)
             

                                                                                                                                                    California ranks No 1 in Trespass Casualties (includes Casualties and Fatalities)
California ranks No 2 in Grade Crossing Incidents

These statistics demonstrated the continued need for raising rail safety awareness and our rail safety education. In 2017, we worked to promote rail safety awareness via multiple formats.
Rail Safety partnerships are an important and essential way to identify and increase outreach to high incident areas in need of our message. It is through these partnerships and proactive involvement of our partners and our communities that we can create additional ways to educate the public to make good decisions near railroad tracks.

The New Year
As we ring in 2018, we will carry forward all the important rail safety messaging we created and shared in 2017. The New Year offers opportunities to work together to enhance rail safety messaging and through our mutual partnerships we can increase rail safety awareness to save more lives.

California Operation Lifesaver is grateful to our team of volunteers for all they do to share rail safety education. We are thankful to our Rail Safety Partners for their support and dedication that helped us grow our message in 2017.

It remains our goal in 2018 to work together with our partners to change the numbers to make rail safety awareness a priority across California. We look forward to working with our rail safety partners and our volunteer team in the New Year.

Let’s seize the opportunities that 2018 brings to changing the numbers and save lives!
Happy New Year!

Nancy Sheehan-McCulloch – State Coordinator
See Tracks Think Train Logo (2014_10_29 16_18_16 UTC)
Follow us:                                                                                                      http://twitter.com/CAOpLifeSaver                                        http://www.facebook.com/CAOperationLifesaver
Instagram: california_operation_lifesaver

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