CSX, industry promote Rail Safety Week

Written by Railway Age Staff
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Jacksonville-based CSX this week is partnering with Operation Lifesaver and the rail industry on Rail Safety Week Sept. 25-30, to raise public awareness about how to be safe around railroad tracks.

The partnership includes the Federal Railroad Administration, other freight railroads, Amtrak, commuter rail-service providers, customers and law enforcement agencies across CSX’s 23-state network.

“The safety of our employees and the communities where we operate is CSX’s top priority, and one collision involving a vehicle or pedestrian is one too many,” said Sean Douris, chief of police for CSX. “Our goal is zero accidents, and we believe education is the best tool to prevent these types of incidents. CSX is committed to reaching as many people as possible with the information they need to keep themselves safe around railroad tracks.”

A person or vehicle is hit by a train about once every three hours in the United States, according to Operation Lifesaver, the national educational organization dedicated to rail-safety awareness. While the number of collisions each year has dropped 83% in the past four decades, federal statistics show 265 people died in 2016 in collisions with trains.

The goal of Rail Safety Week is to reduce these types of collisions and save lives by raising awareness about how to safely cross railroad tracks. Throughout the week, CSX representatives will join in this national initiative and focus on directly reaching drivers, pedestrians and rail passengers with important rail-safety tips.

The railroad has developed a comprehensive Rail Safety Week plan designed to reach people of all ages and amplify rail safety messages through a grassroots social media campaign. The plan includes:

    • ‘Safety blitzes’ at grade crossings where CSX representatives partner with local law enforcement agencies to reach drivers and pedestrians with safety information;
    • Passenger rail station outreach focusing on rail passengers, in partnership with commuter rail service providers and Amtrak;
    • Rail safety presentations at schools and community organizations;
    • Rail safety outreach and giveaways at college campuses near CSX tracks;
    • Targeted social media campaigns for areas on the CSX network that experience heavy pedestrian and vehicular traffic crossing the tracks;
    • Social media messages, materials and hashtags for employees, customers and community members to share and help spread the word about rail safety. Materials are available at: www.csx.com/railsafetyweek;
    • The launch of two new rail safety public service announcement videos created by Wide Angle Youth Media, a Baltimore, Md., non-profit that uses media arts education to engage young people. To watch and share videos, visit: www.csx.com/RailSafetyStories

The railroad’s Play It Safe program year-round involves non-profit partnerships, community outreach and various sponsorships to raise rail safety awareness. For more on this program, visit www.beyondourrails.org.



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