Categories: Safety Tips
Whether you have kids or grandkids, we know that keeping them safe is always top of mind. According to an infographic by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), one child under age 13 is involved in a car crash every 34 seconds.
While choosing the right car seat and making seatbelts non-negotiable are important ways to keep kids safe in vehicles, modeling safe behavior around railroad tracks and trains can be just as important in terms of saving lives.
Part of Operation Lifesaver’s safety mission is to encourage children to make safe choices around trains and tracks, whether they are a passenger in a car or on foot. Our free resources for kids include posters, materials featuring our Sly Fox & Birdie safety mascots, videos, and other items, such as the SMART (Safety-Minded Around Rails and Trains) safety activity book, produced by Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit with assistance from California Operation Lifesaver.
Our trained Operation Lifesaver volunteers give free in-person safety presentations to kids from pre-K through high school in many areas of the country each year, reaching more than 1.3 million in those age groups alone in classroom events since 2010. Find out if there’s a volunteer near you!
We spread our rail safety messages even further through wonderful partnerships with Safe Kids Worldwide and the National Organization for Youth Safety (NOYS)—focusing on materials and activities for children and families—as well as Federal Railroad Administration, Federal Highway Administration and Federal Transit Administration, NHTSA and major freight and passenger railroads, on safety efforts that benefit kids and adults alike.
So what can you do to be a rail safety model?
· Talk with your kids about how important it is to always expect a train whenever you are near a railroad track or crossing;
· Tell them that trains can’t stop quickly because of their size and weight;
· Explain that it’s never safe, and also against the law, to walk along or on train tracks;
· Teach them to obey the signs and signals that warn you when you are approaching railroad crossings;
· Warn them to never try to beat a train across train tracks – it’s illegal and potentially deadly.
Learn more about how you can be a rail safety role model and find other resources on our website. And remember your job as a rail safety role model all year round.