Summer is right around the corner, and with it comes kids out for summer, parents ready for family outings, and vacation planning in the works. The warm summer weather and long daylight hours make hiking, biking, camping, ATV rides, and more a vacation wonderland of appealing outdoor activities. 

All outdoor activities should be done with safety in mind. Safety includes making the right choices near railroad tracks and trains. Making Rail-Safe Choices should always be a priority. Never let your activities take you on or near tracks and trains. 

California has the highest number of Trespass Casualties (injuries and fatalities) and the second highest number of Grade Crossing incidents in the U.S.  Sadly, we have the highest number of fatalities for both. These numbers are not just statistics; they represent lives lost and families affected. Below are our 2021, 2022, and 2023 statistics from the Federal Railroad Administration, which highlight the urgency of our mission.

These statistics emphasize the need for rail safety education. CAOL is grateful to our team of trained, authorized volunteer presenters who are dedicated and prepared to provide this education. You can request a presentation or ask us to participate in an event. We look forward to working with your class, group, and community. 

We are fortunate to have outstanding Rail Safety Partners who support CAOL and participate in our year-round campaigns. We mutually commit to increasing Rail Safety Awareness and changing dangerous behaviors near railroad tracks. By growing rail safety partnerships and creating proactive rail-safe California communities, we can enhance our CAOL mission. 

We hope you will join us by choosing safety near tracks and trains. Help us Save Lives by asking your loved ones to make safe decisions and always Respect The Rails!  Save Lives Tell 5!

Please practice and share these Rail Safety Tips:

  • Trains have the right of way 100% of the time over emergency vehicles, cars, the police, and pedestrians.
  • Freight trains don’t travel at fixed times, and passenger train schedules change. 
  • All train tracks are private property. Never walk on tracks; it’s illegal and very 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 can move in either direction at any time. Always Expect a Train!
  • Today’s trains are quieter than ever! An 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.

Blue and White (ENS)Sign: GET OUT! GET AWAY! FIND THE BLUE AND WHITE SIGN:  If your vehicle gets stuck or stalls at a crossing, get everyone out and far away immediately, even if you do not see a train. Call the number on the Blue and White Emergency Notification System (ENS) sign and share the crossing ID number with the dispatcher. No sign? Dial 911.   

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

This blog is an updated version of our June 2023 Blog.

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