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Operation Lifesaver, Inc. Awards Innovative Rail Safety Competitive Grant for Nebraska Crossing Safety, Trespass Prevention Whistle-Stop Tour and Campaign

By Operation Lifesaver

WASHINGTON, DC, March 30, 2022 – Operation Lifesaver, Inc. (OLI), in partnership with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), announced it will award an Innovative Rail Safety Grant to Nebraska Operation Lifesaver (Nebraska OL). The grant will fund a Whistle-Stop Tour in September 2022 across 20 counties throughout the state with the highest rail-related fatalities and injuries over the last five years. In conjunction with the Whistle-Stop Tour, billboards, newspaper articles, and public service announcements (PSAs) will be distributed throughout the state.

OLI, the only non-profit and nationally recognized leader of rail safety education, is dedicated to saving lives by empowering the public to make safe choices near railroad tracks and trains.

“The Nebraska OL Whistle-Stop Tour takes an innovative approach to raising public awareness of the need to make safe choices at railroad crossings and along rights-of-way, encouraging citizens to volunteer for Operation Lifesaver and deepening local rail safety partnerships,” said OLI Executive Director Rachel Maleh. “We are proud to partner again with the FRA on this grant, which supports creative ways to share the rail safety message,” she stated.

Said Nebraska Operation Lifesaver State Coordinator Debra Ashworth, "We look forward to connecting with Nebraskans, inviting first responders to our railroad safety team and recruiting volunteers to help share this important safety message in communities across the state.”    

The Nebraska OL Whistle-Stop Tour is timed to coincide with Rail Safety Week, which this year will be held September 19-25 throughout North America. In each targeted county, Operation Lifesaver will provide free rail safety presentations to schools, businesses, professional drivers and other audiences identified through incident data, meet with local community leaders and public safety organizations and display their mobile training trailer. Media outreach and social media messaging in each location will emphasize the importance of reducing railroad crossing and trespass incidents in the 20 targeted counties and throughout the state.

“The Innovative Rail Safety Grant encourages new ways to address prevention of rail-related crossing and trespass incidents,” said James Payne, Staff Director of the FRA Grade Crossing Safety and Trespass Prevention Program Division. “We are pleased to continue our partnership on this grant with OLI.”

The grant was awarded through a competitive process based on criteria including a demonstrated safety need, concept creativity and the ability to scale projects.


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 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, PinterestandYouTube

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