Multitasking Pedestrians Tempt Tragedy; Operation Lifesaver/MARTA Begin Safety PSA Campaign
WASHINGTON, DC, April 12, 2010 – Pedestrian commuters distracted by smart phone calls and text messages risk deadly encounters with transit buses, commuter and light rail trains, or street vehicles. Rail safety nonprofit Operation Lifesaver (www.oli.org), on behalf of the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (www.itsmarta.com), have launched a new safety campaign using bus shelter posters and onboard video public service announcements to remind commuters to “Stay Focused! Stay Alive!”
“Our new PSA reminds pedestrians to stay focused, especially near train tracks,” says Helen Sramek, President of Operation Lifesaver. “Pedestrians face multiple electronic distractions – cell phones, texting, mobile video and internet – all with deadly consequences, because there is no second chance if you meet a train on the tracks.”
Primary funding for the spots comes through a grant from the Federal Transit Administration (www.fta.dot.gov.)
Georgia Operation Lifesaver (www.georgiaol.org) coordinated the project, which includes bus shelter posters (see image) and airings of OL’s “Distracted Pedestrian” PSA on digital screens inside MARTA trains. The project coincides with a proclamation by Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue designating the month of May as “Operation Lifesaver Month in Georgia.”
“This new poster and video safety message will reach MARTA commuters and other citizens we’re trying to educate about distractions and transit safety,” said Georgia Operation Lifesaver State Coordinator Jennie Glasgow.
“Distracted Pedestrians,” a 30-second public service announcement (click on www.oli.org/psas to view), will appear through May on MARTA trains for riders to watch as they commute. The safety spot features a harried executive rushing to work, barking orders while sending last-minute instructions to employees via cell phone. He runs into other commuters and a street musician in his haste. Unfortunately, he ignores the oncoming train as well.
In the last decade more than 9,000 pedestrians have been injured or killed while walking on railroad tracks or rights of way, based on Federal Railroad Administration statistics.
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 http://www.oli.org.
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]oli.org 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]oli.org
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.
Operation Lifesaver, Inc.
425 Third Street SW, Suite 915
Washington, D.C. 20024
Email : [email protected]
Media Inquiries: [email protected]
Transit Inquiries: [email protected]