LOS ANGELES - In observance of Rail Safety Month, Metrolink is joining other railroad agencies across the state to encourage everyone to "Be Track Smart," with a series of events to emphasize the importance of safe behavior near railroad tracks.
In recent years, there have been multiple incidents where individuals from across the world have been struck and killed by trains and vehicles while wearing earphones, texting or talking on a cell phone. Metrolink's message to the community is "Stay Focused, Stay Alive!"
The safety campaign will incorporate an integrated communications plan including safety tips on Twitter, visits to schools near tracks, a safety information blitz at stations and targeted enforcements with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Metrolink Bureau. The media and community can expect notifications of upcoming events.
The "Stay Focused, Stay Alive!" message is part of a national outreach by Operation Lifesaver, Inc., a non-profit organization providing public education programs to prevent collisions, injuries and fatalities on and around railroad tracks and highway-rail grade crossings.
Deaths and injuries from crossing crashes and pedestrian-train incidents rose in the first four months of 2012 compared to the same period in 2011, according to the Federal Railroad Administration. Through the end of April, 2012, the FRA reports 635 people were either killed or injured at crossings or trespassing on rights of way, compared to 532 during the same time period in 2011.
"Based on news accounts of incidents, texting, headphones and other distractions appear to be part of the problem," Operation Lifesaver Inc. President Helen M. Sramek said.
September was designated Rail Safety Month by the 2009 passage of California Senate Concurrent Resolution 10, introduced by Senator Carol Liu (D-21), with the goal of decreasing rail-related accidents through the promotion of public safety awareness. In collaboration with rail partners, law enforcement agencies, local schools and Operation Lifesaver, Metrolink will continue its campaign to stress rail safety with education, engineering and enforcement events.
For details on Metrolink's Rail Safety Month and other initiatives, please visit www.metrolinktrains.com.
ABOUT METROLINK (www.metrolinktrains.com)
Metrolink is Southern California's regional commuter rail service in its 19th year of operation. The Southern California Regional Rail Authority (SCRRA), a joint powers authority made up of an 11-member board representing the transportation commissions of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties, governs the service. Metrolink operates over seven routes through a six-county, 512 route-mile network. Metrolink is the third largest commuter rail agency in the United States based on directional route miles and the seventh largest based on annual ridership.