Railroad safety is important year round, and the week of September 21-27 has been designated rail safety week.
According to Operation Lifesaver, “The goal of Rail Safety Week is to raise awareness of the need for rail safety education and empower the general public to keep themselves safe near highway-rail grade crossings and railroad rights-of-way. Join us in observing Rail Safety Week! This year, Rail Safety Week will be observed in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.”
Current Federal Railroad Administration data shows that highway-rail grade crossing collisions and pedestrian trespass on tracks together account for over 95 percent of all railroad fatalities.
In addition, many students will be learning virtually from home and without many of their usual after-school/extracurricular activities during the COVID-19 worldwide pandemic. Because of this, there will be more children unoccupied for periods of time. This type of situation can be a breeding ground for troublesome behavior and railroad officials have seen an increase in trespassing activity on or near the tracks already this summer.
Railroad tracks can be quite dangerous. Agents frequently go into the schools to talk with students of all ages about the dangers of railroad tracks, but COVID-19 has halted these efforts. Therefore, railroad officials are asking local municipalities and police departments for help.
If you have children, please speak with them about rail safety. For more information, click here.