Rail Safety Week 2022: Helpful Reminders to Help Stop Track Tragedies
In observance of National Rail Safety Week 2022, which runs September 19-25, Metro Transit is sharing important reminders you need to be aware of to maximize your safety around railroad tracks.
In the United States, a person or vehicle is struck by a train every three hours, which equals about 2,920 train-related incidents each year. This eye-opening statistic is a sobering reminder of the importance of being careful around grade crossings, near train tracks and when at transit stations.
Always expect a train to run on any track,
at any time, and in any direction.
The power and force of trains are often underestimated. It takes a MetroLink train 600 feet – the length of two football fields – to come to a complete stop when going approximately 55 MPH. Other types of trains can reach speeds over 100 MPH. More than 50% of collisions occur at crossings equipped with lights and/or gates, and 9 out of 10 rail-related fatalities involve grade crossing collisions or incidents with trespassers.
With your help, we can prevent tragedies. Here are some tips for staying safe while waiting for your train and riding on the system:
- Stand Back: Observe the pavement markings. Stand back from the platform, behind the painted and raised markings. Trains overhang tracks. Never run or ride scooters, skateboards or bicycles in a station.
- Stay off the Tracks: If you drop an item on the tracks, do not attempt to retrieve it. Notify a Metro Transit team member of Metro Public Safety for assistance.
- See Tracks? Think Train: Remain alert for oncoming trains on station platforms and while driving or walking. Listen and watch for pedestrian and traffic signals.
- Be Aware of High Voltage: Never walk next to or in between the rails. High voltage electrical power can run underground on a third rail or above trains.
- Cross Legally and Safely: Cross only at designated crossings. Observe signs, signals and pavement markings. Always look for a train.
- Wait, Look Both Ways: Always expect a train. Trains are closer and faster than they appear. Multiple tracks may mean multiple trains. Look for additional trains on adjacent tracks.
Rail Safety Week is spearheaded by Operation Lifesaver, Inc. (OLI), Operation Lifesaver Canada and the Mexican Association of Railroads (AMF). For more information visit https://oli.org/about-us/public-awareness-campaigns/rail-safety-week.