Operation Lifesaver, Inc. (OLI) has released new rail safety resources to help farmers and farm machine operators avoid incidents around railroad tracks. According to preliminary 2020 Federal Railroad Administration statistics, 325 crossing collisions comprising 17% of total incidents occurred at private crossings, resulting in 22 fatalities (11.2% of total crossing-related deaths) and 111 injuries (16.1% of total crossing injuries).
• Audio and video public service announcements (PSAs) in 15- and 30-second lengths.
• Rail safety education presentations, lesson plans and handouts for junior level (ages 8-11) and senior level (ages 12-17) students.
• A rail safety sticker to remind farm machine operators and others to “See tracks? Think Train!”
The rail safety education materials for young people and the sticker were developed with input from members of national youth development programs 4‑H and the National FFA Organization, according to OLI.
“Every three hours in the U.S., a person or vehicle is hit by a train,” OLI Executive Director Rachel Maleh said. “We want farmers and farm machine operators to always expect a train, even on private property. The new PSA and rail safety education materials for young people along with the rail safety sticker provide actionable advice to farm communities on how to work safely near railroad tracks and trains as well as what to do in the event a tractor or other vehicle is stalled or stuck on the tracks.
“We look forward to collaborating with our partners at the American Farm Bureau Federation and other national organizations to share these important safety tips with the farming community.”
In related news, earlier this month Amtrak released into service a specially painted P-42 diesel, emblazoned on both sides with the message, “See Tracks? Think Train!” to commemorate OLI’s 50th anniversary.