Safety Group Says Headphone Study Underscores need for Caution near Train Tracks, offers Tips

WASHINGTON, DC, January 18, 2012 – A rise in headphone-related pedestrian incidents points to the need for increased awareness of the dangers of walking on or near train tracks, according to Helen Sramek, President, Operation Lifesaver (http://www.oli.org), the rail safety education nonprofit organization.  

“The majority of fatal headphone-related incidents examined in the University of Maryland School of Medicine study involved trains, underscoring the need for our increased safety efforts,” Sramek said. She noted that Operation Lifesaver created a public service announcement (PSA) campaign on the issue of distracted pedestrians that has run in Baltimore, Atlanta and elsewhere. View the PSA here:  http://bit.ly/u8AZRE. The study appeared in the latest issue of Injury Prevention.


While rail-related deaths and injuries have been reduced over the 40 years that Operation Lifesaver has been making safety presentations across the U.S., studies like this show there is still work to be done, Sramek said.  “Operation Lifesaver’s safety speakers tell audiences in their communities to stay off and stay away from train tracks, to stay alive,” she said.

Operation Lifesaver’s Top 4 Rail Safety Tips for Pedestrians 


1.    Remember to cross railroad tracks only at designated pedestrian or roadway crossings, and obey all warning signs and signals posted there.
2.    Remove earphones, turn down music, and don’t text or phone when using designated railroad crossings.     
3.    Today's trains are quieter than ever, and an approaching train is always closer and moving faster than you think.
4.    A train can extend three feet or more beyond the rails, putting the safety zone for pedestrians well beyond the three foot mark.

Photo credit: Mark Grapengater

Operation Lifesaver (http://www.oli.org) is a national, non-profit safety education group whose goal is to eliminate deaths and injuries at railroad crossings and along railroad rights of way. It has programs in all 50 states with trained and certified presenters who provide free talks to raise the public’s safety awareness around tracks and trains.


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Media Contact

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:

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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