See Tracks? Think Train! Campaign Spokesman Kalina to participate in safety event
Train incident survivor will speak to Chicago-area high school students at Metra Commuter Rail’s live YouTube broadcast
WASHINGTON, DC, January 13, 2015 — Operation Lifesaver, Inc. (OLI, www.oli.org) “See Tracks? Think Train!”campaign spokesperson Mark Kalina Jr. will be part of a January 15live internet event – via Metra Commuter Rail’s YouTube channel – of an Operation Lifesaver safety presentation to students at Tinley Park High School in Tinley Park, IL. About every three hours in the U.S., a person or vehicle is hit by a train, according to federal statistics.
The Operation Lifesaver rail safety training will be streamed live at 10 a.m. Central time, January 15, 2015 on Metra's YouTube channel: www.YouTube.com/Metra. During the 55-minute presentation, students will hear a firsthand account of the dangers of trespassing on railroad property from Mark Kalina Jr., who survived a 2012 pedestrian-train incident in Ohio, and is now a double amputee.
“When people hear Mark Kalina Jr.’s story, they are moved, inspired, and understand the importance of our campaign slogan, ‘See Tracks? Think Train!’” said OLI President and CEO Joyce Rose. “Mark has a special rapport with high school and college students. We are honored to have him as our spokesman.”
“Using railroad tracks as a short cut is never worth it,” Kalina said. “Besides being illegal, it can dramatically change - or end - your life."
Kalina, who calls his train incident “not life-ending, but life-changing,” has traveled throughout the country promoting rail safety and is committed to helping victims of traumatic injury through his Mark Kalina Jr. Foundation.
Metra’s Operation Lifesaver rail safety education program focuses on three areas of train safety: Education, Engineering and Enforcement. The education component focuses on teaching people of all ages the dangers of disobeying grade crossing warning devices, and trespassing on the railroad right-of-way, while improving motorists' and pedestrians' behavior around railroad tracks. Metra operates nearly 4,000 trains every week in the six-county region of Northeast Illinois.
“Education is by far the most important thing we can do,” Metra Safety Director Hilary Konzcal said. “We constantly drive home the message that trains cannot stop quickly. The train you see is closer and moving faster than you think.”
Larry Green and Tom Donegan, Operation Lifesaver authorized volunteers, will deliver Metra's Operation Lifesaver presentation to the high school students during the event. Green and Donegan reach thousands of students in grades K through 12 and driver education programs, as well as community organizations and first responders, every year.
About Operation Lifesaver
Operation Lifesaver's mission is to end collisions, deaths and injuries at highway-rail grade crossings and along railroad rights of way. A national network of trained volunteers provides free presentations on rail safety. Learn more at http://www.oli.org; follow OLI on Facebook, Twitter, Instagramand Pinterest.