In conjunction with national Rail Safety Week, Sound Transit kicked off a campaign this week (Sept. 19) to educate and empower the public about the importance of safety around trains and tracks.
This annual week-long event, which first began in 2017, is a collaborative effort among Operation Lifesaver, Inc., state Operation Lifesaver programs and rail safety partners across the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
“Safety is our number one priority at Sound Transit, which is why we are actively working hard to reduce incidents,” said David Wright, Sound Transit’s chief safety officer, in a Sept. 19 news release. “Rail Safety Week is an opportunity for us to make sure everyone knows the behaviors that will help them stay safe when they are near our trains and tracks.”
The goal of Sound Transit’s participation in Operation Lifesaver’s 2022 Rail Safety Week is to highlight and promote the agency’s five core safety messages and align these messages with the overall theme of #STOPTrackTragedies. These five core messages are:
• Look both ways
• Headphones off, screens down
• Take crosswalks, not shortcuts
• Stay behind the yellow line
• Bike smart, ride safe
During each day of Rail Safety Week, the agency’s social media channels will offer these messages and the various themes selected by Operation Life Saver for nationwide promotion throughout the week. Sound Transit staff will also be out in our service speaking with customers and re-enforcing these track and train safety messages.
Train safety is an important issue in the U.S. Every three hours in the U.S. a person or vehicle is hit by a train, according to the news release. More than 2,100 people are injured or killed annually in crossing and trespassing incidents in North America. More than 50% of collisions occur at crossing equipped with lights and/or gates.