The California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) has awarded a $61,325-grant to Metrolink for a year-long Public Safety Awareness on Railroads campaign.
Metrolink, in collaboration with California Operation Lifesaver (CAOL) and with the support of OTS, is dedicated to reducing the number of persons killed and injured in grade crossing collisions.
“It is absolutely tragic to witness and experience the largely avoidable incidents along the tracks caused primarily by distracted pedestrians and drivers,” said Metrolink CEO Michael DePallo. “With the support of the California Office of Traffic Safety, Metrolink and its partners will continue striving to make people more aware of the dangers of unsafe behaviors on or near the tracks.”
Metrolink will use the funding as part of an on-going commitment to keep roadways and rail crossings safe through safety education, information and enforcement.
The state of California has nearly 10,000 at-grade railroad crossings across more than 10,000 miles of railroad track, intersecting with nearly 324,000 miles of public highways and roads. Unfortunately, California has the distinction of leading the nation in the number of deaths at these at-grade crossings and along railroad rights-of-way.
The grant will fund various activities, including increasing the number of CAOL authorized volunteer presenters throughout the state; conducting a public safety conference in Southern California with stakeholders regarding safety at crossings and working with communities and community leaders concerning issues which address safety at railroad highway grade crossing and rights-of-way.
Funding for this program comes from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.