Rail Safety and You

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  • Rail Safety and You

  • September is Rail Safety Month in California, and September 20-26, 2020 is Rail Safety Week across the nation. Every three hours in the U.S. there is an incident involving a train and a person or vehicle. These incidents happen too often and are preventable. First and foremost, we remind all riders and pedestrians to be aware of their surroundings by looking both ways when at a rail crossing. Rail safety is a team effort. We are doing our part to decrease rail-related accidents and save lives through education outreach and enforcement efforts.

    To encourage safe behavior near tracks and to reduce incidents across our rail system, we ask everyone to join us and do their part to share safety tips. Each week Metrolink will promote rail safety messages at our stations and on social media:

    • Always look both ways before crossing railroad tracks
    • Look both ways before crossing, a train can come from either direction at any time
    • Stop Track Tragedies, look both ways near railroad tracks
    • If a train goes by, look both ways again before crossing tracks

    DIRECTED ENFORCEMENTS 

    Raising public awareness about the dangers of failing to comply with railroad safety laws is a critical step in preventing railroad-related deaths and injuries. Metrolink has partnered with L.A. County Sheriff’s Transit Services Bureau to facilitate directed enforcements throughout the system during rail safety month.  These enforcements will take place every Wednesday morning in September: 

    September 16, 2020: Santa Ana Area (Orange Line) 

    September 23, 2020: Norwalk Area (Orange Line) 

    September 30, 2020: Riverside Area (Riverside Line) 

    SAFETY TIPS

    Below are some safety tips everyone should keep in mind while near a train track:

    • Red lights indicate a train is approaching from either direction. Never walk around or behind lowered gates at a crossing and do not cross the tracks until the lights have stopped flashing.
    • Stay alert around railroad tracks. Don’t text or use headphones, and do avoid other distractions that would prevent you from hearing an approaching train.
    • Lives are at stake. Vehicles at train crossings and pedestrians walking on tracks account for 95 percent of all rail-related deaths. Almost all of these deaths are preventable. Don’t become a statistic. Be aware of railroad tracks and crossing gates when walking or driving.
    • More than 50 percent of people who die while walking on railroad tracks have alcohol or drugs in their system. Always make responsible decisions with your safety in mind.
    • By the time a locomotive engineer sees a person or vehicle on the tracks it’s too late. It takes the average train traveling at 55 mph more than a mile to stop. Don’t try to beat a train. They are approaching faster than it seems.

    STAY SAFE – SIX THINGS TO KNOW

    Eyes Up. Look and Listen.
    Look both ways and listen before crossing the tracks. Expect a train at any time and from either direction.

    Eyes Up. Phone Down.
    Avoid dangerous distractions such as texting, loud music or headphones that would prevent you from hearing an approaching train.

    Stand Back. Look Around.
    Always stay behind the line at train stations. Enter or exit a station platform at designated areas.

    Keep Out. Stay Away.
    Train tracks, bridges and yards are private property. Never walk, bike, skateboard or run on or along the tracks; it’s illegal and dangerous. Cross only at designated rail crossings.

    Stop and Wait.
    Don't ever try to "beat" a train. An approaching train is closer and moving faster than you think. Wait until the gates are up and lights have stopped flashing, they may be down for a train approaching in the other direction.

    See Something? Say Something.
    To report suspicious packages, activity, persons and/or security concerns, call or text Metrolink’s Security Operations Center at (866) 640-5190. If you witness or experience criminal or life-threatening situations, dial 911.

    VIDEOS

     

    As a passenger, and even as a motorist, there are specific things that you can do to help us achieve our commitment to making sure that everyone who interacts with our trains does so safely:

    Since September 2015, all railroad lines nationwide were required to post Emergency Notification System (ENS) signs at every public and private railroad crossing. The requirement was established by the Federal Railroad Administration to make reporting problems and emergencies impacting railroads easier. 

    The ENS signs are blue and white, provide an emergency phone number and a railroad crossing ID number so that drivers or pedestrians who notice problems on the tracks can help stop a train before an incident occurs. The signs are in close proximity to the crossings and will be visible to the first car stopped at a crossing when they look through their right passenger window. Every approach to a railroad crossing must have an ENS sign.

    These signs can be used to report things such as suspicious activity on the tracks, stalled vehicles or a warning device malfunction.

    If your vehicle ever stalls on tracks, immediately evacuate your car and call the number listed on the ENS sign at the crossing.

  • Stay alert near the tracks. Be rail safe.

    Being rail safe means:

    • Crossing only at designated pedestrian or roadway crossings. It’s safer, and crossing anywhere else is illegal.
    • Staying alert around railroad tracks. Avoid texting, headphones, or other distractions. Today’s trains are very quiet and they don’t always sound their horns.
    • Remembering that it takes about one mile—the length of 18 football fields—for a train to stop.
    • Expecting a train at any time. Trains can move in either direction at any time, day or night.

    See tracks? Think train!

     

     

    Trains are part of Orange County Life

    With 34 cities and a population of more than 3 million, Orange County is the third largest county in California. Every day, trains contribute to our mobility and economic growth. This rail safety information will help you coexist with them whether you are on foot or in a vehicle.

    To keep Orange County rail safe, OCTA enhanced 52 railroad crossings with upgraded and updated equipment and signage while helping silence train horns for local communities. OCTA's OC Bridges program separates freight trains from vehicular traffic along the Orangethorpe Corridor in Anaheim, Fullerton, and Placentia.

  • Stay off the tracks.

    Tracks are for trains. They are private property. Walking, biking, jogging or playing on or near the train tracks is considered trespassing and is illegal. In 2017, about 1,081 people suffered injuries or death related to crossing crashes and pedestrian-train incidents.

    Stay focused to stay alive.

    Always expect a train. Trains are quieter than ever and travel faster than you think. Deaths and injuries from crossing crashes and pedestrian-train incidents are on the rise. Why? Texting, headphones and other distractions. Pedestrians should always stop, look and listen for a train before crossing the tracks at designated pedestrian crossings.

    Never try to beat a train.

    Only cross tracks if you are sure your vehicle can clear the tracks without stopping. Remember that trains can take up to a mile to come to a complete stop.

    Pay attention to signs.

    Warning signs save lives. Approach all crossings with care, and do not ignore any warning signs or gates. If your children cross tracks on the way to school, make sure they can read, understand and follow the signs.

    Crossbuck
    Advance Warning and Crossbuck Signs 
    These signs warn you that railroad tracks are ahead. Watch out!
    Crossbuck
    Stop Sign 
    Just like stop signs anywhere else on the road, a stop sign at a railroad crossing means, "STOP!" A car can go after it has stopped, and it is safe to proceed.
    Crossbuck
    Yield Sign 
    All yield signs mean the same thing: wait for other cars, pedestrians, or, in this case, trains to pass before going. Always wait until it is safe to cross.
    Crossbuck
    Report Emergency
    To report an emergency or warning device malfunction, call the telephone number on the Emergency Notification System (ENS) sign, and provide the seven-digit (six numbers and one letter) crossing identification code to identify your location. This sign might be posted on the crossbuck post or signal post. If you cannot locate the ENS sign, call 911 or your local police.
    Crossbuck
    Do Not Stop On Tracks
    Never stop on railroad tracks; it’s illegal and dangerous. When you stop around a railroad track, make sure the front and the back of your vehicle are 15 feet from the nearest rail.
    Crossbuck
    No Train Horn
    Some communities have established Quiet Zones where train horns will not routinely sound. Look for No Train Horn signs that may be attached to the Advanced Warning Signs. Always be alert near railroad tracks and look both ways. A train could be coming from either direction at any time.
    Crossbuck
    Look
    Look both ways before crossing railroad tracks. Stay alert! Be aware there could be a 2nd train approaching from either direction on another track. Always obey the signs and signals at railroad crossings. Any time is train time!

    52 Railroad Crossings

    To keep Orange County rail safe, OCTA partnered with eight cities to enhance 52 railroad crossings. The $90 million program upgraded track developments and signal coordination, installed new barriers and warning signs and allowed cities to establish quiet zones for local communities. Funded by Measure M, Orange County’s half-cent sales transportation tax, the countywide improvements feature safety enhancements for pedestrians and motorists and include a robust rail safety awareness campaign. OCTA also continues to launch programs like OC Bridges to separate freight train from vehicular traffic.

    Keep kids rail safe

    California Operation Lifesaver has trained volunteers available to provide important safety information. They provide rail safety education for a variety of audiences, including: Schools – students, Drivers Ed, business, Law enforcement, Emergency Responders, Professional Truck Drivers, School Bus Drivers, Community Groups and more. Visit the Operation Lifesaver website for more rail safety educational resources to use in your classroom. To request a free rail safety presentation visit California Operation Lifesaver: http://www.caol.us/presentations-lessons-plans-videos-students.htm.

    Click on the link below to read rail safety tips you can share with your kids, download rail safety activity and comic books, and play an interactive rail safety game!

    For more information, please visit the Operation Lifesaver website

    Rail Safety Tips

    Stay off the tracks.

    Tracks are for trains. They are private property. Walking, biking, jogging or playing on or near the train tracks is considered trespassing and is illegal. In 2017, about 1,081 people suffered injuries or death related to crossing crashes and pedestrian-train incidents.

    Stay focused to stay alive.

    Always expect a train. Trains are quieter than ever and travel faster than you think. Deaths and injuries from crossing crashes and pedestrian-train incidents are on the rise. Why? Texting, headphones and other distractions. Pedestrians should always stop, look and listen for a train before crossing the tracks at designated pedestrian crossings.

    Never try to beat a train.

    Only cross tracks if you are sure your vehicle can clear the tracks without stopping. Remember that trains can take up to a mile to come to a complete stop.

    Pay attention to signs.

    Warning signs save lives. Approach all crossings with care, and do not ignore any warning signs or gates. If your children cross tracks on the way to school, make sure they can read, understand and follow the signs.

    WARNING SIGNS
    Crossbuck
    Advance Warning and Crossbuck Signs 
    These signs warn you that railroad tracks are ahead. Watch out!
    Crossbuck
    Stop Sign 
    Just like stop signs anywhere else on the road, a stop sign at a railroad crossing means, "STOP!" A car can go after it has stopped, and it is safe to proceed.
    Crossbuck
    Yield Sign 
    All yield signs mean the same thing: wait for other cars, pedestrians, or, in this case, trains to pass before going. Always wait until it is safe to cross.
    Crossbuck
    Report Emergency
    To report an emergency or warning device malfunction, call the telephone number on the Emergency Notification System (ENS) sign, and provide the seven-digit (six numbers and one letter) crossing identification code to identify your location. This sign might be posted on the crossbuck post or signal post. If you cannot locate the ENS sign, call 911 or your local police.
    Crossbuck
    Do Not Stop On Tracks
    Never stop on railroad tracks; it’s illegal and dangerous. When you stop around a railroad track, make sure the front and the back of your vehicle are 15 feet from the nearest rail.
    Crossbuck
    No Train Horn
    Some communities have established Quiet Zones where train horns will not routinely sound. Look for No Train Horn signs that may be attached to the Advanced Warning Signs. Always be alert near railroad tracks and look both ways. A train could be coming from either direction at any time.
    Crossbuck
    Look
    Look both ways before crossing railroad tracks. Stay alert! Be aware there could be a 2nd train approaching from either direction on another track. Always obey the signs and signals at railroad crossings. Any time is train time!
    Rail Safety Programs

    52 Railroad Crossings

    To keep Orange County rail safe, OCTA partnered with eight cities to enhance 52 railroad crossings. The $90 million program upgraded track developments and signal coordination, installed new barriers and warning signs and allowed cities to establish quiet zones for local communities. Funded by Measure M, Orange County’s half-cent sales transportation tax, the countywide improvements feature safety enhancements for pedestrians and motorists and include a robust rail safety awareness campaign. OCTA also continues to launch programs like OC Bridges to separate freight train from vehicular traffic.

    Keep kids rail safe

    California Operation Lifesaver has trained volunteers available to provide important safety information. They provide rail safety education for a variety of audiences, including: Schools – students, Drivers Ed, business, Law enforcement, Emergency Responders, Professional Truck Drivers, School Bus Drivers, Community Groups and more. Visit the Operation Lifesaver website for more rail safety educational resources to use in your classroom. To request a free rail safety presentation visit California Operation Lifesaver: http://www.caol.us/presentations-lessons-plans-videos-students.htm.

    Click on the link below to read rail safety tips you can share with your kids, download rail safety activity and comic books, and play an interactive rail safety game!

    Other Information

    For more information, please visit the Operation Lifesaver website

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