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Rail Safety Week Set For Sept. 18-24

Every year, 2,100 North Americans are killed or seriously injured when they engage in unsafe behavior around tracks and trains. Montana Operation Lifesaver is joining Operation Lifesaver Inc., Operation Lifesaver Canada and the Mexican Association of Railroads from Sept. 18-24 to observe Rail Safety Week in North America and urging the public to help #STOPTrackTragedies.

“Rail Safety Week focuses awareness and education activities around the country into seven exciting days. Daily themes include rail safety tips emphasizing crossing safety for drivers, trespass prevention for pedestrians, safe practices for transit riders, no photos on tracks and more,” said Rachel Maleh, executive director of Operation Lifesaver, Inc. “During this annual observance, safety partners across North America join us for a concentrated week of sharing the important rail safety message. Everyone can help make their communities safer. Know the facts, recognize the signs, make good decisions and join us. Together, we can #STOPTrackTragedies.”

Montana Operation Lifesaver state coordinator John Althof said, “Rail Safety Week activities in Montana will emphasize on media outreach activity and rail safety education to share our lifesaving message. Through rail safety education and media outreach, we are empowering Montana residents to make safe choices around railroad tracks and trains.”

As part of Rail Safety week, new video and audio public service announcements as well as social media campaigns are being released. An ongoing campaign called #STOPTrackTragedies features videos with the personal stories of people directly affected by rail crossing or trespassing incidents — including victims, friends and family members, locomotive engineers, and first responders. The full campaign can be viewed at stop-track-tragedies or stoptracktragedies. ca. In Montana and across the U.S., along with the PSAs and a social media campaign, the following themes will be emphasized: • Monday, Sept. 18, kicks off the week with the overarching theme of #STOPTrackTragedies and a focus on Media Outreach and Rail Safety Week Proclamations in states and localities. OLI will release two new #STOPTrackTragedies video public service announcements.

• Tuesday, Sept. 19, focuses on the annual observance of Operation Clear Track in the U.S. and Canada emphasizing the importance of obeying crossing safety and anti-trespass laws. Law enforcement partners will conduct awareness exercises, Officer on the Train activities and other in-person positive enforcement events as well as join first responders sharing RSW messages through social media, email messaging and website posts.

• Wednesday, Sept. 20 highlights Crossing Safety, with outreach to the general public including new and mature drivers, shift workers, school bus drivers and farmers as well as outdoor enthusiasts, highlighting the importance of the Blue and White Emergency Notification System signs at crossings.

• Thursday, Sept. 21, Transit Safety Thursday and Professional Driver Safety, showcases how to stay safe as a rail commuter or transit rider as well as safe choices around railroad tracks and trains for professional drivers. Transit riders will be encouraged to take and share OLI’s new transit safety pledge. Engaging new transit safety educational materials for children in Pre-K through age 12 will be released, including a PSA, coloring book and activity book.

• Friday, Sept. 22, focuses on Volunteering for Operation Lifesaver along with Wearing Red or “Red Out” for Rail Safety by encouraging partner safety organizations, schools, railroad employees and the general public to wear red and share photos on social media.

• Saturday, Sept. 23,highlights Trespass Prevention, educating pedestrians, cyclists, joggers, college students, people experiencing homelessness and outdoor enthusiasts about the dangers posed by being on or near the tracks.

• Sunday, Sept. 24, promotes No Photo, Video or Selfie is Worth the Risk, to warn professional and amateur photographers as well as social media influencers against putting themselves or others in danger by illegally taking photos, videos, or filming near tracks and trains.

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