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Choose Safety First: New PSA from Operation Lifesaver, Inc. Promotes Safe Practices When Working Near Railroad Tracks

By Operation Lifesaver

WASHINGTON, DC, September 12, 2023 – Rail safety education nonprofit Operation Lifesaver, Inc. (OLI)today releases a new public service announcement (PSA) aimed at municipal workers, utility workers and others whose jobs bring them near railroad tracks and crossings. The PSA, Choose Safety First, is available in English and Spanish and encourages safe choices for these essential workers.

Every 3 hours in the U.S., a person or vehicle is hit by a train; over 60 percent of vehicle-train collisions occur at crossings with lights and or gates. Preliminary statistics from the Federal Railroad Administration show 2,197 collisions between vehicles and trains at railroad crossings in 2022, as well as 1,175 pedestrian rail trespass casualties.

"When work takes you near railroad tracks and trains, it's imperative that you make safe choices," said OLI Executive Director Rachel Maleh.Choose Safety First highlights the right choices when working near trains and tracks arming workers with lifesaving information.”

OLI’s new PSA shows workers in three rail-related scenarios: a landscaping crew member mowing grass near railroad tracks, a worker whose vehicle stalls on the tracks and a surveyor attempting to get a specific line of sight. All three vignettes are included in the 70-second PSA; three shorter versions show the individual scenarios.

Maleh continued, “OLI urges municipal employers, engineering companies and other organizations to share this PSA with their workers. Together, we can stop track tragedies.”

“Safety is our top priority, because we believe that everyone – construction workers, commuters, and the traveling public – should be able to leave home knowing they’ll make it back safely,” said Federal Highway Administrator Shailen Bhatt. “We are proud to partner with Operation Lifesaver on this campaign to improve safety for workers and all those whose lives come near to where roads and rails intersect.” 

The new PSA and shorter versions are available on the OLI website as well as in the website’s Materials section. Funding for the project was provided by the Federal Highway Administration.


About Operation Lifesaver 

Operation Lifesaver is a nonprofit public safety education and awareness organization dedicated to stopping track tragedies. For more than 50 years, Operation Lifesaver programs have saved lives via public awareness campaigns and a network of trained volunteers across the U.S. who give free presentations encouraging safe behavior near railroad tracks and

trains. The Operation Lifesaver, Inc. (OLI) national office supports the efforts of state programs in 47 states and the District of Columbia. Explore OLI's virtual library of rail safety materials on the website. Learn more about OLI, the annual observance of Rail Safety Week, how to request a free presentation and become a volunteer.  Follow OLI on social media via Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter and YouTube.

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