Make It Home Safe for the Holidays

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — AAA predicts that 94.5 million people will travel during the holiday season, starting today through New Year’s Day. Rail safety education nonprofit Operation Lifesaver, Inc. (OLI) is appealing to drivers and pedestrians to stay alert and stay safe as they go.

The slight uptick in travel comes as winter weather pummels much of the nation, making traffic conditions perilous for many, as most of that travel will happen by automobile.

“Now’s the time when good driving habits are crucial,” said Joyce Rose, OLI president and CEO. “Your family expects you home for the holidays so play it safe out there, especially when you see train tracks.”

OLI offers the following safety tips for motorists, pedestrians and winter sport enthusiasts:

  • Always expect a train. Winter weather can reduce visibility so slow down, look both ways — twice — whenever you approach a rail crossing.
  • If you’re wearing a helmet; if it’s snowing, windy or raining; or even if traffic’s bad, the sound of a train can be muffled. Listen carefully and stay focused.
  • Don’t race a train. There’s never a winner in these situations. Just stop and wait for the train to pass.
  • Know the signs. Public rail crossings are marked with different kinds of warnings. Operation Lifesaver offers a quick tutorial on what road signs and traffic devices mean.
  • Don’t take the chance of getting stuck on a track if you see traffic is stopped on the other side. Stop at least 15 feet from the track. If you won’t fit, don’t commit.
  • Tracks, trains, railroad equipment and the areas immediately surrounding tracks are private property. Cross a train track at a designated crossing. It’s the only safe and legal place to do so.  Anything else is trespassing, and proves fatal every single day.

With family around, winter holidays are also a great time to teach young people about the importance of rail safety. OLI offers many free online educational materials for children in K-12, including tips for new drivers, at http://oli.org/education-resources and http://oli.org/video.

“We hope older, more experienced drivers take this time to tell young people to avoid being distracted when they are out and about this holiday season,” said Rose. “When you’re around train tracks listening to loud music, texting, talking on the phone or generally not paying attention, you’re jeopardizing your life. We wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season.”

 

 

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Media Contacts

Operation Lifesaver, Inc. understands the importance of the news media’s role in helping the public make safe decisions around tracks and trains.

To request further information about Operation Lifesaver’s activities, or for additional safety information, please contact our national headquarters office at 703-739-0308 or 800-537-6224. If you are a reporter on deadline, please contact:

  • DeQuendre Bertrand, Director of Internal and External Communications - Phone 703-739-0284, or email dbertrand@oli.org

About Operation Lifesaver

Operation Lifesaver’s mission is to end collisions, deaths and injuries at highway-rail grade crossings and on rail property through a nationwide network of volunteers who work to educate people about rail safety. Our national office in Alexandria, VA, supports state programs, developing videos, educational brochures, instructional information and other materials for audiences of all ages. Our state coordinators are located in all 50 states.

National Office

Operation Lifesaver, Inc.
1420 King Street, Suite 201
Alexandria, VA 22314

1-800-537-6224
703-739-0308
Fax: 703-519-8267
Email : general@oli.org

Media Inquiries: news@oli.org

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Save the Date: 2014 Leadership Workshop May 14-15, 2014

Operation Lifesaver state program leaders, authorized volunteers, coaches, trainers, presenters and partners: Put this on your calendar! May 14-15, 2014 are the dates for our next Leadership Workshop, which will be held at the Embassy Suites,1000 Woodward Place NE, Albuquerque, New Mexico. The theme of this must-attend event for rail safety advocates is "See Tracks? Think Train!"

Be There

Join us as we explore the latest information and tools for reducing vehicle-train collisions and pedestrian rail trespass incidents in the U.S and around the world.

A daylong session for Operation Lifesaver state coordinators will held on May 13; OL coaches and trainers will have a special training session on the morning of May 14.

The Leadership Workshop starts at 1 p.m. on May 14 and concludes with a dinner on the evening of May 15.

More information will be available soon! Visit www.oli.org for updates.