During the week of September 22-28, the Alameda County Transportation Commission (Alameda CTC) will be joining National Rail Safety Week for the first time to address the high incidence of fatalities and injuries due to rail trespassing in Alameda County. Operation Lifesaver, Inc. (OLI), the national rail safety education nonprofit, partners with Operation Lifesaver Canada to mark the observance of Rail Safety Week (RSW) in North America during the last week of September each year. The Alameda CTC joins the U.S. Department of Transportation and other partner organizations to support this nationally recognized effort to raise awareness and highlight the importance of rail safety education.
“Alameda CTC is proud to partner with Operation Lifesaver, Inc. to play a critical and vocal role in providing rail safety education throughout Alameda County,” said Alameda CTC Chair and Alameda County District 2 Supervisor Richard Valle. “We know that safety near railroad tracks and trains continues to be an issue in Alameda County and Rail Safety Week is an important opportunity to share knowledge and raise awareness about safe behaviors.”
Raising awareness about the dangers of trespassing onto railroad rights-of-way
In January, Alameda CTC launched its rail safety education program, ACT Safely, which provides in-class training about rail safety to students in K-12 public schools enrolled in the Safe Routes to Schools (SR2S) program. The ACT Safely program aims to reduce trespassing incidents by teaching safe behaviors when walking or bicycling near railroads. In addition to presentations, the program offers online resources that include videos, fact sheets, posters and flyers and can provide safety information at community events. The SR2S program partnered with California Operation Lifesaver to develop the ACT Safely program and curriculum for Alameda County.
“By the end of September, we will have offered over 25 in-class presentations and attended a variety of community events to spread information on how to ACT Safely,” continued Chair Valle. “We look forward to expanding the program in the future so all our students in Alameda County receive important safety education and awareness about railroad tracks and trains.”
The funding for these efforts and the ACT Safely program is provided through a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety.
With the unifying theme of #StopTrackTragedies, Rail Safety Weeks reinforces Operation Lifesaver’s mission to save lives. A schedule of events is shared on the Rail Safety Week information page (oli.org/about-us/news/event-materials) each year. To learn more about rail safety in Alameda County, visit alamedacountysr2s.org/rail-safety.
For additional details, see the press release.