As we reflect on a year filled with challenges and new opportunities to meet and achieve our rail safety goals, it is hard to believe that 2021 is coming to a close. Similar to 2020, in person outreach was limited while our virtual rail safety awareness opportunities grew.
Remaining true to our rail safety mission, our efforts, whether in person or virtually presented, we were able to raise rail safety education and awareness for a variety of audiences. Audiences that included: K-8 Students, High School students, School Bus Drivers, Professional Drivers, Law Enforcement, Firefighters, City, County and Community Groups.
In a special outreach to those experiencing homelessness, we provided rail safety awareness. We partnered with homeless advocates, City Net in Southern California, and Wind Youth Services and Loaves and Fishes in Northern California. These advocates assisted us in reaching the homeless with rail safety education. We provided safety backpacks with toiletries and socks for distribution to those in need. The backpacks carried the “Stay Off the Tracks” rail safety message. CAOL provided rail safety education to the advocates so they could share these messages during their outreach. Thank you to our Rail Safety Partner, Union Pacific Railroad for their contribution of socks.
California Operation Lifesaver (CAOL) capitalized on our successful digital geofencing campaigns and strengthened our educational outreach in over 13 high-risk California counites. We ramped up these rail safety awareness campaigns in June and continued them through August.
In September, during California Rail Safety Month and National Rail Safety Week, CAOL was fortunate to be awarded two special grants: the Operation Lifesaver/Federal Railroad Administration (OLI/FRA) grant and the Operation Lifesaver/Federal Highway Administration (OLI/FHWA) grant.
Utilizing these special trespassing and grade crossing grants, we were able to enhance our digital campaigns and expanded our messaging with educational rail safety ads, radio PSA’s, Video PSA’s and an additional “CTV (connected TV) PSA campaign.” Our outreach for these September grant campaigns resulted in 4,178, 810 viewers reached with trespass messaging and 4,313, 471 reached with Grade Cross messaging. Our total educational messages through these grants were shared with 8,492,281 Californians in 13 counties in critical high incident and near miss locations.
Thank you to our partners, Operation Lifesaver Inc., the Federal Railroad Administration, and the Federal Highway Administration for these grants and the opportunity to spread our rail safety messages and saves lives.
We are grateful to our rail safety partner, Capitol Corridor (CCJPA- Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority) for their matching contribution that further heightened our rail safety awareness with these campaigns. California Operation Lifesaver contributed to these grants, supplementing with our own funding, for an even greater educational outreach result.
Our independent California Operation Lifesaver digital geofence campaigns in June through August, added another 4,892,581 reached. Added to our September campaigns our total awareness impact increased to over 13,384,862 Californians that received our critical rail safety educational messages. Messages that encouraged our citizens to make safe decisions near track and trains and help us save lives.
While CAOL finds the digital geofencing outreach to be highly successful in raising awareness, our rail safety objective includes more than just digital geofencing campaigns.
Our efforts include a variety of educational awareness methods that provide us with a broader demographic reach which enhances our messaging by incorporating a variety of formats. It is the combination of formats that includes in-person presentations, event participation, digital geofencing, virtual outreach and more. All these methods support our message and expands our mission to save lives with rail safety education.
Over the last few months of the year, California Operation Lifesaver was excited to share our newly updated CAOL website, caoperationlifesaver.com, offering a first-hand view of the work we do all year long. Our user-friendly website gives you an opportunity to explore all facets of CAOL and learn more about what we do to provide Rail Safety Education in California.
If you have not had a chance to visit, we invite you to explore our new website.
Stop in for a visit and be sure to come back again as we will be regularly adding new features and updates. Invite your colleagues, friends, and families to visit caoperationlifesaver.com
California Operation Lifesaver sends a big thank you to all our outstanding Authorized Volunteer Presenters for their continued commitment to providing rail safety education and their patience until we once again began our in-person presentations. Those opportunities are opening up again and we look forward to recognizing the work our volunteers do to save lives.
Thank you to all our Rail Safety Partners, we could not do it without you. We value your partnership as we join in our mutual efforts to change dangerous behaviors along railroad rights of way.
We look forward to 2022! We look forward to a New Year filled with opportunity.
Opportunity to increase our in-person presentations and events and join with our Rail Safety Partners to work with our cities and counties to become rail safe communities.
We hope you will join us in 2022 and beyond to help share our rail safety message and raise awareness to Save Lives.