California rail providers join together for Rail Safety Month

Written by Kyra Senese, managing editor
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Photo: SMART

September is Rail Safety Month in California, and area rail providers such as the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (SCVTA), Amtrak and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA) are reminding passengers to stay alert near rail systems.

Throughout September, SCVTA will launch a campaign to remind the public about the importance of moving safely on and around the agency’s light-rail system.

According to Nancy Sheehan, the state coordinator of California Operation Lifesaver (CAOL), a nonprofit safety education and awareness program dedicated to ending incidents at highway-rail grade crossings and on railroad rights of way, there were 114 deaths and 89 injuries of railroad trespassers in 2017. There were 38 rail-crossing fatalities and 58 injuries the same year, officials said.

SCVTA also urges passengers and nearby residents to watch the agency’s new safety video.

The Amtrak® Pacific Surfliner® will highlight the importance of safety near train tracks with public outreach events in collaboration with CAOL and two Southern California Major League Baseball teams: the San Diego Padres and the Los Angeles Angels.

Officials said the Pacific Surfliner will host educational events featuring rail safety experts from CAOL on Sept. 16 at Angel Stadium, prior to the Angels game against the Seattle Mariners, and Sept. 17, at Petco Park, before the Padres game against the San Francisco Giants.

Attendees will learn safety tips to keep in mind near railroad tracks, including those used by the Pacific Surfliner between San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties.

The LACMTA team will be out in the local community throughout the month handing out safety tote bags and reminding riders to be alert.

Categories: Commuter/Regional, Intercity, Rapid Transit/Light Rail, Safety/Training