Per the Maryland Department of Transportation: Maryland is joining jurisdictions across the country and throughout North America in promoting safety at rail crossings during Rail Safety Week, September 19-25. Through a safety and awareness campaign, Maryland Operation Lifesaver is joining Operation Lifesaver Inc., Operation Lifesaver Canada and the Mexican Association of Railroads in urging the public to help #STOPTrackTragedies.
In Maryland each year, on average 23 people are killed or injured in grade crossing and trespassing incidents, according to data from the Federal Railroad Administration. Throughout North America, 2,100 people are killed or seriously injured annually. Operation Lifesaver works to prevent these incidents from happening.
As part of Rail Safety week, video and audio public service announcements and social media posts will promote a message of safety and awareness. A campaign through Operation Lifesaver called #STOPTrackTragedies features videos with victims, friends and family members, locomotive engineers and first responders. The campaign can be viewed at oli.org/stop-track-tragedies or stoptracktragedies.ca. The campaign focuses on the following themes:
- Monday, September 19, kicks off the week with the theme of #STOPTrackTragedies, and urges people to take the Operation Lifesaver Rail Safety Pledge.
- Tuesday, September 20, focuses on the annual observance of Operation Clear Track in the U.S. and Canadaemphasizing the importance of obeying crossing safety and anti-trespass laws.
- Wednesday, September 21, highlights Crossing Safety, with outreach and guidance for new and mature drivers, shift workers, school bus drivers, farmers and outdoor enthusiasts.
- Thursday, September 22, Transit Safety Thursday,showcases how to stay safe as a rail commuter or transit rider.
- Friday, September 23, focuses on Volunteering for Operation Lifesaver along with Wearing Red or “Red Out” for Rail Safety by encouraging safety organizations, partners, schools, railroads and the public to wear red at public events and share photos on social media.
- Saturday, September 24, highlights Trespass Prevention, educating pedestrians, cyclists, joggers, college students, people experiencing homelessness and outdoor enthusiasts about the dangers of being on or near the tracks.
- Sunday, September 25, promotes No Photo, Video or Selfie is Worth the Risk, to warn professional and amateur photographers and social media influencers against putting themselves or others in danger by illegally taking photos, videos or filming near tracks and trains.
“Rail Safety Week concentrates the public awareness and education campaigns that occur all year long across the country into one jam-packed week,” said Rachel Maleh, Executive Director of Operation Lifesaver Inc. “This annual event brings together Operation Lifesaver state programs, North American safety partners and our partners at the U.S. Department of Transportation along with the many other organizations who share the rail safety message – this week, and all year round.”