For National Bike Month, Operation Lifesaver Offers Six Tips for Safe Biking Near Train Tracks

Operation Lifesaver offers bicyclists six tips for safety near train tracks:

1)    CROSSING TRACKS ON A BICYCLE REQUIRES CAUTION AND EXTRA ATTENTION! Narrow wheels can get caught at crossings. If possible, walk - don't ride - across. Always cross at a 90-degree angle.
2)    USE ONLY DESIGNATED RAILROAD CROSSINGS. The only legal and safe place to cross railroad tracks is at a designated public crossing with a crossbuck, flashing red lights or a gate. Crossing at any other location is trespassing and illegal.
3)    TURN OFF MUSIC AND REMOVE EARPHONES AT ALL RAIL CROSSINGS. Music can be a deadly distraction near the tracks; the sound may prevent you from hearing an approaching train. Trains are quieter than you think, go faster than they appear, and do not run on set schedules.
4)    WET TRAIN TRACKS CAN BE SLIPPERY. Dismount and walk your bike across the tracks.  Step over the tracks - not on them - to avoid slipping.
5)    WATCH OUT FOR THE SECOND TRAIN. Your view of a second train might be blocked by the first. Wait after the first train passes until you can see clearly in both directions.
6)    IF YOU SEE A TRAIN COMING, WAIT! Flashing lights or a lowering gate means a train is approaching. Do not proceed until the gates go completely up and the lights go off. It is illegal to go around lowered gates, whether on a bike, on foot or in a vehicle.

WASHINGTON, DC, May 5, 2010 – May is National Bike Month, and Operation Lifesaver, Inc., (, is sharing tips for safe biking near train tracks.  Last year, more than 760 people were killed or injured in the U.S. while illegally walking, bicycling, or otherwise playing on railroad tracks or property.

“Tragically, just recently a bicyclist died from injuries suffered when he was hit by a train while trying to ride across train tracks in Virginia. We urge all bicyclists to use care at railroad crossings or near train tracks," says Operation Lifesaver President Helen M. Sramek.

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 volunteers provides free presentations on rail safety. For more information or to request a free safety presentation, visit

Photo credit: Bright Tal, Flickr Creative Commons

Media Contact

Operation Lifesaver, Inc. understands the importance of the news media’s role in helping the public make safe decisions around tracks and trains.

To request further information about Operation Lifesaver’s activities, or for additional safety information, email general[at] or contact our national headquarters office at 703-739-0308.

If you are a reporter seeking information for a local news story, view our list of state Operation Lifesaver program contacts.

If you are on deadline for a story and would like Operation Lifesaver, Inc.'s perspective on a highway-rail safety or trespass prevention topic, email news[at]

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 trespassing on or near railroad tracks. Our team consists of nationwide network of volunteers who work to educate people about rail safety, state coordinators who lead the efforts in states across the U.S. and a national office in Washington, D.C., that supports state programs, develops education materials, and creates public awareness campaigns for audiences of all ages. 


National Office

Operation Lifesaver, Inc.
425 Third Street SW, Suite 915
Washington, D.C. 20024

Fax: 703-519-8267
Email : [email protected]

Media Inquiries: [email protected]

Transit Inquiries: [email protected]

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