News & Events
Operation Lifesaver urges professional photographers to stay safe, stay away from train tracks
WASHINGTON, DC, April 16, 2013 – As warmer weather arrives, Operation Lifesaver (www.oli.org), the rail safety education nonprofit organization, is urging professional photographers to refrain from taking photos of high school seniors, wedding parties, and other subjects on train tracks or trestles.
Last year, more than 800 people were injured or killed while trespassing on railroad property in the U.S., according to preliminary Federal Railroad Administration statistics.
"We know that photographers seek creative portrait settings; however, using train tracks as a backdrop for photos is not only dangerous, it is illegal trespassing,” said Operation Lifesaver, Inc. President and CEO Joyce Rose. “This spring, as part of our mission to reduce deaths and injuries around trains, we are asking professional and amateur photographers to set the right example by staying away from train tracks.” Rose noted that about every three hours in the U.S., a person or vehicle is hit by a train.
A teacher who taught art and photography was struck and killed by a train while taking photos on the tracks late in 2012. In response to tragic and preventable incidents like this, Operation Lifesaver has worked with Professional Photographers of America on rail safety education outreach to the professional photographer community.
“Trackside settings have become popular for senior, wedding, and family portraits. But photographers need to know the laws and the safety ramifications of staging a photo shoot near train tracks,” said David Trust, chief executive officer of Professional Photographers of America (PPA). “PPA applauds Operation Lifesaver programs that educate photographers about the danger to themselves and their clients of working near tracks.”
Operation Lifesaver has six “must-know" tips for professional photographers considering a photo shoot near the tracks:
1. Trains can’t stop quickly to avoid people or vehicles on the tracks.
2. An optical illusion makes it hard to determine a train's distance from you - and its speed.
3. The average train overhangs the track by at least three feet.
4. Railroad tracks, trestles, yards and rights-of-way are private property.
5. No tracks should be assumed to be abandoned or inactive.
6. People in your community mimic your behavior.
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. For more information or to request a free safety presentation, visit www.oli.org ; follow OLI on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
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]