Operation Lifesaver, Inc. (OLI) and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) are awarding Nebraska Operation Lifesaver an Innovative Rail Safety Grant in support of its September 2022 Whistle Stop Tour and campaign.
Innovative Rail Safety Grants are offered through a competitive process to encourage new ways to address prevention of rail-related crossing and trespass incidents, OLI reported in the March 30 announcement. Among the award criteria: a demonstrated safety need, concept creativity and the ability to scale projects.
Nebraska Operation Lifesaver’s Whistle-Stop Tour will span 20 counties throughout the state, which has had the “highest rail-related fatalities and injuries over the last five years,” according to OLI. In each county, Nebraska Operation Lifesaver will provide free rail safety presentations to schools, businesses, professional drivers and other audiences identified through incident data; meet with local community leaders and public safety organizations; and display its mobile training trailer. Media outreach and social media messaging in each location will emphasize the importance of reducing railroad crossing and trespass incidents. State-wide billboards, newspaper articles and public service announcements (PSAs) will also be part of the campaign.
The Whistle Stop Tour will coincide with Rail Safety Week, to be held Sept. 19-25 throughout North America.
“The Nebraska Operation Lifesaver Whistle-Stop Tour takes an innovative approach to raising public awareness of the need to make safe choices at railroad crossings and along rights-of-way, encouraging citizens to volunteer for Operation Lifesaver and deepening local rail safety partnerships,” OLI Executive Director Rachel Maleh said. “We are proud to partner again with the FRA on this grant, which supports creative ways to share the rail safety message.”
“We look forward to connecting with Nebraskans, inviting first responders to our railroad safety team and recruiting volunteers to help share this important safety message in communities across the state,” Nebraska Operation Lifesaver State Coordinator Debra Ashworth said.