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.
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