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
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:
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
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