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As a New Semester Begins, Operation Lifesaver, Inc. Releases PSA Urging College Students to Make Safe Choices Near Railroad Tracks

By Operation Lifesaver

WASHINGTON, DC, January 19, 2022 – A new rail safety public service announcement (PSA) for students attending colleges and universities that include or are near railroad tracks was released today by Operation Lifesaver, Inc. (OLI), the national non-profit rail safety education organization. The PSA highlights the importance of making safe choices when walking or driving around railroad tracks and trains.

Every three hours in the United States, a person or vehicle is hit by a train. Preliminary Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) statistics show 690 people were injured and 196 killed in 1,901 U.S. vehicle-train collisions in 2020. An additional 557 people were killed and 523 injured in 2020 rail trespassing incidents. On foot or in a vehicle, results can be the same — severe injury or even death.

“Whether rushing to class, campus events or just to meet your friends, it’s important for college students to recognize the risks and make safe choices around railroad tracks and trains. The shortest route between locations may not be the best choice,” said OLI Executive Director Rachel Maleh. “Whether driving over or walking across tracks, college students need to recognize the signs and make safe choices. The wrong decision could be devasting. Together, we can stop track tragedies.”

OLI urges the public to:

  • Use increased attention when approaching and crossing railroad tracks
  • Know the facts
  • Recognize and obey signs and signals
  • Cross only at designated crossings whether driving or walking
  • Know what to do in the event a vehicle is stalled or stuck on the tracks

“Operation Lifesaver offers free rail safety presentations in communities across the country,” Maleh noted. “We look forward to sharing the rail safety message. Visit today to request a presentation,” she concluded.

The PSAs are available to the public with English and Spanish voiceovers and captions in 60, 30 and 15-second lengths through the Materials section of the website and are downloadable at


About Operation Lifesaver

Operation Lifesaver, which this year celebrates the 50th anniversary of its founding in 1972, is a non-profit public safety education and awareness organization dedicated to reducing collisions, fatalities and injuries at highway-rail crossings and preventing trespassing on or near railroad tracks. In 1986 the non-profit  Operation Lifesaver, Inc.  national office was created to help support and coordinate the efforts of state Operation Lifesaver programs, saving lives by sharing rail safety messages with audiences across the U.S. and beyond. A national network of trained volunteers gives free presentations on rail safety and a public awareness campaign, “See Tracks? Think Train!” provides tips and statistics to encourage safe behavior near the tracks. Learn more about Rail Safety Week; follow OLI on social media viaFacebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterestand YouTube.  


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