Operation Lifesaver, Inc. Awards $175,000 for Crossing Safety Public Awareness Campaigns
WASHINGTON, DC, July 6, 2016 – Operation Lifesaver, Inc. (OLI), in partnership with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), announced $175,000 in grants to 11 State Operation Lifesaver programs for a variety of highway-rail grade crossing safety public education projects, in conjunction with the nonprofit safety group’s ongoing “See Tracks? Think Train!” public awareness campaign.
The grants will be awarded to Operation Lifesaver organizations in California, Georgia, Idaho, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, and Utah. These state programs will use the funding to spread “See Tracks? Think Train!” (ST3) safety messages via television, radio, billboard, digital and magazine ads as well as events. Target audiences include students, agricultural sectors, outdoor enthusiasts, professional drivers, Spanish-speaking populations and the news media to raise awareness about the dangers near tracks and trains.
“The grants will fund creative projects in these states to raise awareness of the need for caution near highway-rail grade crossings among parents, new drivers, professional drivers, and others,” said OLI President and CEO Bonnie Murphy. “We are grateful to our safety partners at FHWA for their ongoing support of these lifesaving efforts.”
The Federal Highway Administration, a national partner and advisor of Operation Lifesaver, provides the funding for this grant program, which complements similar grant programs with the Federal Railroad Administration and Federal Transit Administration.
“We are pleased to continue our alliance with Operation Lifesaver and its ongoing “See Tracks? Think Train!” educational campaign,” said Federal Highway Administrator Gregory Nadeau. “These grants can help make travel in areas where roads and rails cross safer for vehicles and pedestrians.”
Projects funded by the FHWA grants include:
- California Operation Lifesaver will initiate a digital advertising campaign featuring the “See Tracks? Think Train!” safety message targeting major sports venues in high-incidence areas. The ads will reach sports fans in Anaheim, Fresno, Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco during September, which has been designated Rail Safety Month across the state.
- Georgia Operation Lifesaver will air the “See Tracks? Think Train!” radio and television public service announcements (PSAs) throughout the state during July, August and September through a partnership with the Georgia Association of Broadcasters.
- The Idaho Operation Lifesaver campaign will include safety booths at the Eastern and Western state fairs as well as airing “See Tracks? Think Train!” radio and television PSAs in English and Spanish in high-incident areas of the state.
- Michigan Operation Lifesaver will carry out a campaign using ST3 billboards in the Detroit area; in Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids and Lansing areas the program will distribute informational materials at driver training classes, fairs and special events. Safety presentations will also be given to schools and law enforcement agencies across the state where track improvements have afforded increased passenger train speeds.
- Minnesota Operation Lifesaver plans a multi-faceted approach that will distribute “See Tracks? Think Train!” radio PSAs; target drivers with posters above gas pumps, on pump handles and door clings; in video ads on breathalyzer vending kiosks at key locations; and with sponsorship of and informational booths at popular state festivals and events.
- Missouri Operation Lifesaver’s campaign will start in July and continue through Missouri Rail Safety Week, September 11-17. Efforts will include radio PSAs distributed throughout the state, videos and display ads on Facebook and YouTube targeting Missouri residents, and Officer on the Train, Positive Enforcement and other events with safety partners Missouri Department of Transportation, state and local law enforcement and railroads.
- Nevada Operation Lifesaver plans a three-month education effort focusing on two targeted audiences, agriculture/ranching and outdoor enthusiasts, with magazine, website and radio ads linking the “See Tracks? Think Train!” message with the emergency notification system signs at railroad crossings, which are used to notify a railroad of crossing emergencies or warning device malfunctions.
- North Carolina OL’s efforts will include radio PSAs in high-incidence corridors, ads in shopping centers located along major interstate highways during peak back-to-school shopping dates, and an Officer on the Train event targeting emergency responders and law enforcement officers.
- Ohio Operation Lifesaver plans a campaign that will include statewide radio PSAs, digital ads in high-incidence areas with banner and video PSAs, and safety presentations to children, teachers and bus drivers in schools near tracks and crossings that have been identified as potential safety concerns.
- Tennessee Operation Lifesaver will target the general driving public and professional drivers in 20 key locations across the state in August and September with posters atop gas station pumps featuring the ST3 message, paired in some locations with window and cooler ads.
- Utah Operation Lifesaver will air radio PSAs from July through September with “See Tracks? Think Train!” messages delivered by well-known Utahans, including Governor Gary Herbert, basketball, golf and college football personalities. The radio ads will air in rural and metropolitan areas of the state to combat dangerous driver behavior at crossings. Spanish versions of the ST3 radio PSAs also will air in Salt Lake City, Ogden, and Provo.
The 11 approved grants were awarded through a competitive process, with selections based on criterial such as successfully leveraging the federal funds with private partnerships, targeted messaging and the frequency of highway-rail collisions.
About Operation Lifesaver - Operation Lifesaver is a nonprofit 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. A national network of trained volunteers provides free presentations on rail safety and a public awareness campaign, “See Tracks? Think Train!” equips the general public with tips and statistics to encourage safe behavior near the tracks. Learn more at http://www.oli.org; follow OLI on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterestand Instagram.