Operation Lifesaver shares 2017 Rail Safety Week report, announces joint U.S.-Canada effort in 2018
WASHINGTON, DC, February 8, 2018 - Operation Lifesaver, Inc. (OLI), the national, nonprofit rail safety education group, today reported that messages about crossing safety and trespass prevention reached millions of Americans, generating more than 270 million impressions via news media coverage and social media advertising surrounding the first U.S. Rail Safety Week (RSW) held September 24-30, 2017.
OLI Interim President Wende Corcoran also announced that this year, Rail Safety Week will be observed by Operation Lifesaver programs and partners in the U.S. and Canada from September 23 to 29.
“The goal of RSW is to raise awareness of the need for rail safety education, and to empower the public to keep themselves safe near highway-rail grade crossings and railroad rights-of-way,” said Corcoran. “We are pleased to share our report on RSW 2017 activities and successes, and we are grateful to the sponsors, partners and state Operation Lifesaver programs who made Rail Safety Week a success by helping to spread lifesaving messages to millions of people in communities across the country,” she stated.
“Rail Safety Week is a key part of our ongoing mission of reducing collisions, fatalities and injuries at highway-rail crossings and preventing trespassing on or near railroad tracks, reinforced by our See Tracks? Think Train! campaign,” Corcoran continued. “We look forward to working with Operation Lifesaver Canada on a coordinated Rail Safety Week effort this year,” she said.
“Canada has marked its annual Rail Safety Week in April for more than 15 years, but by aligning our dates with those of the U.S., we’re ensuring a more coordinated – and hopefully impactful – North American rail-safety campaign,” said Sarah Mayes, National Director ofOperation Lifesaver Canada. “Too many people in Canada and the U.S. are unnecessarily injured or lose their lives each year because they try to beat a train at a crossing or illegally trespass on train tracks. OL Canada’s message for pedestrians and motorists this Rail Safety Week will be simple: Look. Listen. Live.”
In the U.S., Corcoran said, Operation Lifesaver will work with the U.S. Department of Transportation, the railroad industry, state Operation Lifesaver programs, and other safety partners at the state and local level on an awareness campaign, local events, and distributing safety tips for pedestrians, drivers, transit riders and passenger rail users throughout Rail Safety Week.
The U.S. RSW 2017 report details the following activities and results:
- A kickoff press conference was held in Washington, DC September 25 with speakers from the Federal Railroad Administration, the Association of American Railroads, and a mother whose son was killed taking a short cut on train tracks, spurring media coverage.
- On September 26, Amtrak and Operation Lifesaver partnered with 246 law enforcement agencies in 48 states on Operation Clear Track, a coordinated crossing safety and trespass prevention enforcement event. More than 75,000 crossing safety tip cards were distributed, 573 citations were written to crossing violators, 1,029 warnings were issued and 19 arrests were made.
- News stories in 47 states and the District of Columbia resulted in more than 230 million impressions through print, broadcast and online media coverage of U.S. Rail Safety Week.
- OLI placed 23,828 radio public service announcements from the “See Tracks? Think Train!” campaign on 1,702 stations in 28 states, resulting in more than 23 million impressions.
- Digital campaigns in 26 states featured trespass prevention videos on Snapchat and YouTube, as well as crossing safety graphics on Facebook, resulting in 3.5 million impressions and engagement of more than 418,000 people.
- OLI ran a transit safety digital ad campaign in 13 cities determined by need for increased awareness, resulting in 7 million impressions and engagement of more than 280,000 people.
Visit the Rail Safety Week page on the OLI website for more information, to join the Rail Safety Week team, sign up for updates, or become a sponsor.
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 gives free presentations on rail safety and a public awareness campaign, “See Tracks? Think Train!” provides the public with tips and statistics to encourage safe behavior near the tracks. Learn more at http://www.oli.org; follow OLI on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.