The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has launched a $7 million media campaign to improve safety at railroad crossings. The message is aimed at certain people in certain states. Find out who and where, here.
The initiative, Stop. Trains Can’t, is the latest in a two-year effort by two DOT agencies, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Railroad Administration. The goal is to reduce accidents and related fatalities at railroad crossings. The advertising campaign targets men between 18 and 49 years old in states where the nation’s 15 most dangerous crossings are located, and at the states that had 75 percent of the crossing accidents in 2015.
Those states are: California, Illinois, Texas, Louisiana, Indiana, Ohio, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, Alabama, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Mississippi, New Jersey, Arkansas, and Arizona.
Although rail incidents have declined over the last decade, crossing fatalities spiked in 2014. By law, trains always have the right of way because they cannot swerve, stop quickly, or change directions to avert collisions. DOT points out that a freight train travelling at 55 miles per hour takes a mile—the length of 18 or more football fields—to come to a stop, even when the emergency brake is applied.
The good news is that these incidents are preventable. Remind all of your employees, regardless of age, gender, or location, to never try and outrun an oncoming train.