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. #StopTrackTragedies – Practice #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