Tag Archives: USA

USA: Commitment to ILCAD affirmed

5 Jun

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) marked the 7th Annual International Level Crossing Awareness Day (ILCAD)on June 3rd, 2015. Major freight railroads hosted ILCAD events across the U.S. with an additional 43 countries and numerous international railroad organizations and companies hosting events worldwide with a focus on the common message: “Take your time, don’t risk your life!”

“Safety is the freight railroad industry’s highest priority and that includes ensuring the public knows about the dangers associated with grade crossings,” said AAR President and CEO Edward R. Hamberger. “Although the grade crossing collision rate has fallen 35% since 2000, that is not low enough and much more public awareness and education needs to be done. Programs like International Level Crossing Awareness Day bring the industry closer to the goal of zero grade crossing fatalities.”

US freight railroads joined with public safety organizations in more than 20 states to bring attention to grade crossing safety and awareness through events and promotions that included: “Officer on a Train,” where law enforcement officers ride trains and observe risky driver behavior at crossings; participation in community education programs; and distribution of literature about railroad crossing safety targeting truck drivers. America’s railroads have led the international community in promoting grade crossing safety, and spend millions of dollars annually to maintain grade crossings and educate the public on the risky behaviors to avoid at grade crossings.

Turkish Railways hosted an international delegation of rail and road stakeholders and behavioral experts at a conference in Istanbul. An exhibition of posters produced from a worldwide contest for children and the “ILCAD 2015” video will be used to remind pedestrians, cyclists and other road users of the importance of grade crossing safety.

The ILCAD Campaign was established in 2009 by the international railroad community in conjunction with various highway organizations, the European Commission and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), to raise awareness among road users and pedestrians of the risks at grade crossings. To date, more than 40 countries around the world have participated in ILCAD.

For more information on International Level Crossing Awareness Day, please go to www.ilcad.org. To learn more about what railroads are doing to enhance safety, please visit www.freightrailworks.org. For information on what role Operation Lifesaver plays in rail safety education, please visit http://oli.org/.

USA: Crossing and trespass fatalities increase in 2014. Operation Lifesaver comments

11 Mar

LXinfoImage1235-See tracks think trainLevel crossing fatalities increased from 231 to 267 year on year, a rise of 15.6% in 2014 while collisions with road vehicles on level crossings showed an increase of 8.8% which took the 2014 figure to 2,280 which equates to a train-vehicle collision once every 3hrs 50mins. Trespasser fatalities increased from 432 to 526 in 2014, a 21.8% increase.

Operation Lifesaver has responded promptly to the release of 2014 statistics showing increase in the number of level crossing fatalities and trespass fatalities in the USA.

Joyce Rose, the President and CEO of Operation Lifesaver Inc said “The statistics show that challenges remain in our mission to educate a busy, distracted public about the need for caution at train tracks,”

“These preliminary 2014 statistics demonstrate the continuing need to raise public awareness through our national ‘See Tracks? Think Train!’ campaign,” Rose continued. “Operation Lifesaver, in partnership with major freight railroads, commuter and light rail systems, state and local law enforcement, and transportation agencies, will be expanding the campaign and developing new educational materials to encourage Americans to make safe decisions around tracks and trains,” she concluded.

USA: Final National Highway-Rail Crossing Inventory Reporting Requirements rule published

8 Jan

The January 6th, 2014 Federal Register sets out the final National Highway-Rail Crossing Inventory Reporting Requirements rule for which the Federal Railroad Administration is the lead agency.

In summary this final rule requires railroads that operate one or more trains through highway-rail or pathway crossings to submit information to the U.S. DOT National Highway-Rail Crossing Inventory about the crossings through which they operate. These amendments, mandated by section 204 of the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008, require railroads to submit information about previously unreported and new highway-rail and pathway crossings to the U.S. DOT National Highway-Rail Crossing Inventory and to periodically update existing crossing data.

This final rule is effective March 9th, 2015. Petitions for reconsideration must be received on or before February 25, 2015. Petitions for reconsideration will be posted in the docket for this proceeding. Comments on any submitted petition for reconsideration must be received on or before April 13th, 2015.

16 Jun

Operation Lifesaver USA, in partnership with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), announced that more than $200,000 in grants to 21 state Operation Lifesaver programmes for level crossing safety and anti-trespassing public education projects and public service announcements.

The projects and announcements will be designed in conjunction with Operation Lifesaver’s recently launched “See Tracks? Think Train!” public awareness campaign, The grants will be awarded to Operation Lifesaver organisations in Alabama, California, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, West Virginia and Wyoming.

“The grants will fund a wide variety of projects to expand the reach of our new safety campaign and further Operation Lifesaver’s mission of eliminating collisions, injuries and deaths at crossings and along rail property,” said Operation Lifesaver USA President and Chief Executive Officer Joyce Rose.

The FRA provided funding for the grants.

“Our rail safety partnership with Operation Lifesaver is very important to FRA, and we are proud to be a part of the ‘See Tracks? Think Train!’ educational campaign,” said FRA administrator Joseph Szabo.

The state programmes will use the funding to spread “See Tracks? Think Train!” safety messages via television, radio, billboards, sporting events and cinema advertising. They also will create public education displays for large events; and target students, school bus drivers, Spanish-speaking populations and the news media to raise awareness and about the dangers near tracks and trains.

Operation Lifesaver plans to announce the results of a similar grant program for transit-rail safety education projects in mid-August.

USA: Grants for transit safety projects announced

10 Jun

Operation Lifesaver USA has announced that the application period is now open for a total of USD150,000 in grant funds for transit agencies and other local governmental entities for rail transit safety education and public awareness initiatives.

“With the recent unprecedented growth in the number of new rail transit systems and transit ridership, safety is of paramount importance,” said Joyce Rose, President and CEO of Operation Lifesaver. “Operation Lifesaver’s public information, education and outreach model is a proven, effective way to improve safety around transit systems.”

Rose noted that grant amounts are capped at USD25,000 and require a 25% match. Projects must be focused on safety education or public awareness initiatives in communities with rail transit systems (commuter rail, light rail, subway and streetcar). Operation Lifesaver-approved materials and logos must be used, and all grants must be coordinated through state Operation Lifesaver programmes. State Coordinators for every US state can be contacted at: http://oli.org/state_coordinators/

All applications must be submitted via Operation Lifesaver’s Common Grant Application online grant processing program by July 11th, 2014. For those not familiar with using the online grant application system, a series of training webinars have been scheduled and potential applicants are encouraged to register and participate in one of these webinars.

LXinfoImage782-OLrailsafetyeducationlogoExamples of 2013 funded grant projects include: the Washington, DC Department of Transportation streetcar safety campaign, which created safety education materials for children from grades K to 12 in schools along the city’s new streetcar line; the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s new “Eyes up, phone down” safety education campaign to increase safety awareness among the high-risk millennial age group via social media channels including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube; and Caltrain’s “Don’t Shortcut Life” campaign, which features high school student-created safety videos and collateral materials including a law enforcement citation pocket guide and rail safety brochure.

“Operation Lifesaver is grateful to the Federal Transit Administration for the agency’s on-going support that helps make these grants, as well as other Operation Lifesaver popular campaigns such as our recently launched See Tracks? Think Train! campaign possible,” Rose concluded.

All relevant information about the 2014 grants, including the link to the online application, is now available at http://oli.org/about-us/passenger-rail-safety/safety-grant-announcement. For additional information or questions, please contact Cathy Gillen, OLI National Transit Safety Education Consultant, phone (443) 463-4449 or email cathy@thegillengroup.com.

USA: Operation Lifesaver endorses ILCAD

4 Jun

Joyce Rose, President of Operation Lifesaver in the USA has said that “Operation Lifesaver USA is proud to observe the sixth annual International Level Crossing Awareness Day (ILCAD), bringing worldwide attention to the important issue of safety at crossings. Operation Lifesaver programs and partners are holding events across the nation in conjunction with ILCAD.

Operation Lifesaver welcomes this year’s focus on professional drivers, because approximately one in four crossing collisions in the USA includes a vehicle driven by professional drivers. Our safety tips and materials specifically created for these drivers (http://oli.org/training/professional-drivers) help prepare them to make every railroad crossing a safe one.

In the USA, vehicle-train collisions and deaths at railroad crossings rose in 2013, as did pedestrian-rail trespass deaths and injuries. Our new See Tracks? Think Train! safety education campaign (www.seetracksthinktrain.org) was created to encourage drivers and pedestrians to make safety an automatic habit near train tracks.

We are gratified that more countries around the world are joining in the ILCAD celebration each year. Our combined efforts will continue to make a difference, and save lives.”

Olympia, WA: State funds Omak crossing upgrade

21 May

Washington State regulators approved, on May 20th, 2014, USD39.9k in rail safety upgrades to better protect motorists and pedestrians at a level crossing in Omak at the request of the Cascade & Columbia River Railroad (CCRR).

Grants will be used to upgrade the crossing signal system, including replacing the batteries and the battery charger, and installing new crossbucks and gates with LED lights. In addition, CCRR will upgrade the train-detection system from 1980s analog technology to digital constant-warning technology.

The proposed upgrades will improve safety by providing motorists and pedestrians with upgraded signs and more reliable train detection to determine if a train is approaching the crossing. The LED flashing lights will provide greater visibility for the motoring public, and the new batteries and charger will improve warning signal reliability if there is a power failure at the crossing.

– The upgrades must be completed by May 1st, 2015
– The crossing is located at the intersection of Highway 155 (Omak Avenue) and the CCRR tracks in the City of Omak
– Average annual daily vehicle traffic through the crossing is estimated at 4,000 vehicles. Highway 155 is part of an established school bus route, with 25 school buses traveling over the crossing each day. Twelve freight trains per day currently operate between at speeds between five and 20mph.