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Operation Lifesaver, Inc. awards $200,000 for rail safety public awareness campaigns in 12 states

By Operation Lifesaver

WASHINGTON, DC, May 25, 2016 – Today, Operation Lifesaver, Inc.(OLI), in partnership with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), announced that $200,000 in grants will be awarded to 12 state Operation Lifesaver programs for a variety of rail crossing safety and anti-trespassing public education projects. Most of the projects will incorporate elements from the nonprofit safety group’s See Tracks? Think Train!” public awareness campaign.

The grants will be awarded to Operation Lifesaver organizations in Alabama, California, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Minnesota, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Tennessee and Washington;  individual grant awards will range from $1,800 to $20,000.

“These important grants will support the strategic rail safety efforts in 12 of Operation Lifesaver’s state programs, with a goal to further Operation Lifesaver’s mission of eliminating collisions, injuries and deaths at crossings and along rail property,” said Bonnie Murphy, OLI’s president and CEO. “Thanks to our ongoing partnership with the Federal Railroad Administration, we are able to reach more people with lifesaving rail safety messages in many states where the highest number of incidents occur.”

Grants funded by the FRA grants include:

  •  Alabama Operation Lifesaver will run a radio campaign with “See Tracks? Think Train!” PSAs in cities on their 40-city Rail Safety Tour that commemorates the program’s 40th anniversary.
  • California Operation Lifesaver will run comprehensive campaigns that include “See Tracks? Think Train!” ads at a minor league baseball field and billboards in high risk areas of the state
  • Florida Operation Lifesaver will conduct a safety campaign in the All Aboard Florida corridor, where new high-speed passenger rail will run, focusing on outreach to students in schools
  •  Illinois Operation Lifesaver will place “See Tracks? Think Train!” banners on the exterior of Metra train cars
  •  Louisiana Operation Lifesaver will place billboards and run radio PSAs to raise awareness of the need for precaution in an area where a dormant track will become active
  •  Minnesota Operation Lifesaver will run safety campaigns on college campuses and in the surrounding communities
  •   New Jersey Operation Lifesaver will run trespass prevention PSAs before films in movie theatres
  •   North Carolina Operation Lifesaver will conduct a “See Tracks? Think Train!” campaign with materials used at minor league baseball games, the annual state fair and through group presentations.
  •    North Dakota Operation Lifesaver will target professional drivers with a multifaceted campaign on crossing safety
  •   Ohio Operation Lifesaver’s “See Tracks? Think Train!” campaign will target college students and young adult males with radio PSAs, TV PSAs, social media and billboards
  •    Tennessee Operation Lifesaver will run radio and TV PSAs focusing on crossing safety and trespass prevention throughout the state
  •     Washington Operation Lifesaver will run ads in movie theatres, as well as on mobile devices for users in targeted zip codes

The approved grants were awarded through a competitive process, with selection based on criteria such as successfully leveraging the federal funds with private partnerships, targeted messaging and the frequency of pedestrian-train incidents and highway-rail collisions.

Murphy noted that Operation Lifesaver plans to announce the results of similar grant programs for rail crossing safety and rail transit safety education projects later this year.

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; follow OLI on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.  

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