Story Summary

Rail Safety Month

Gayle Anderson was live in Glendale because Caltrans and Amtrak are encouraging Californians to “Be Track Smart!” Caltrans and Amtrak are using Rail Safety Month in September as a kickoff to their year-long “Be Track Smart” rail safety campaign, which offers facts and safety tips to reduce fatalities and injuries near railroad crossings and tracks.

Through Caltrans’ support of Operation Lifesaver, free educational programs are available for community organizations, schools, and businesses to alert Californians to the life-threatening dangers of trespassing on railroad tracks, as well as associated fines and penalties for not obeying the laws.

California rail safety and the law:

  • Cross tracks only at designated pedestrian or roadway crossings. Violating warning signs and signals is a misdemeanor that can result in steep fines, a moving violation, a point on your driving record, and increased insurance rates. (Fines and punishments are set by each county.)
  • Remember to look both ways when crossing railroad tracks. If you see a train coming, don’t try to beat it. It can take a train up to a mile to stop.
  • Modern trains are quiet and can move forward or backward at any time without warning.
  • Never walk, bike, jog, or run down a train track. It is illegal and can result in significant fines and possible jail time. More importantly, it can lead to injury or death.

The Caltrain Board has adopted a proclamation for Rail Safety Month. The agency addresses safety through a comprehensive, ongoing program that focuses on the “three E’s of railroad safety” – education, enforcement and engineering. As an active member of Operation Lifesaver, Caltrain offers a free education program for community organizations, schools and businesses on the Peninsula highlighting safe practices to keep in mind when near the tracks.

The Transit Police Bureau, a dedicated unit of the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office, is responsible for policing Caltrain property, including stations, parking lots and the railroad right of way. Transit Police deputies have received Crisis Intervention Training, which educates deputies to recognize people who may be a threat to themselves or others near the railroad.  Over the past decade, Transit Police staff have stopped dozens of individuals from placing themselves in harm’s way by safely removing them from the tracks.

Most fatalities along the rail corridor are the result of suicide.  Although suicides on the Caltrain right of way make up only 3 percent of all the deaths caused by suicide in the area served by the railroad, they are the focus of public attention because they impact so many people. Caltrain partners with regional and national suicide prevention organizations to provide outreach and education.

These tragic events impact not only on the friends and family of the deceased, but also employees, passengers on the trains and the local community. This year, a team of San Mateo County Transit District employees, who also manage Caltrain, raised more than $12,000 in the Out of the Darkness Overnight. The team joined more than 2,000 people in the 18-mile walk in San Francisco to benefit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

“Caltrain continues to be a strong partner to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention in the Bay Area and has consistently undertaken to raise awareness and show the communities that it serves just how important suicide prevention is to all of us,” said Valerie Kovacovich, AFSP Area Director. “AFSP commends Caltrain for its longstanding and continued efforts to help prevent suicide in Bay Area communities.”

In addition, Caltrain has invested millions of dollars in engineering projects that improve safety on the railroad. As part of a multi-year program to fence one side of its 50-mile right of way, Caltrain installed an additional 8,000 feet of fencing this year at a cost of $500,000.

The modernization of the Santa Clara station was completed in January. The multi-million project included a new outside boarding platform and a pedestrian underpass, which improves safety for pedestrians at the station.

The $147 million San Bruno Grade Separation Project is at the half-way point.  The project will elevate the Caltrain tracks and the station above three at-grade street crossings and also includes three pedestrian underpasses.

Caltrain’s commitment to safety extends far beyond September, with a year-round, day-in, day-out emphasis on safety around trains and train tracks.

To schedule an Operation Lifesaver presentation contact Community Relations Officer Tasha Bartholomew at 650.508.7927. To report suspicious persons or activities contact 1.877.SAF.RAIL. highlight the importance of safety around trains. The Caltrain Board has adopted a proclamation for Railroad Safety Month.

The agency addresses safety through a comprehensive, ongoing program that focuses on the “three E’s of railroad safety” – education, enforcement and engineering.

As an active member of Operation Lifesaver, Caltrain offers a free education program for community organizations, schools and businesses on the Peninsula highlighting safe practices to keep in mind when near the tracks.

The Transit Police Bureau, a dedicated unit of the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office, is responsible for policing Caltrain property, including stations, parking lots and the railroad right of way. Transit Police deputies have received Crisis Intervention Training, which educates deputies to recognize people who may be a threat to themselves or others near the railroad.  Over the past decade, Transit Police staff have stopped dozens of individuals from placing themselves in harm’s way by safely removing them from the tracks.

Most fatalities along the rail corridor are the result of suicide.  Although suicides on the Caltrain right of way make up only 3 percent of all the deaths caused by suicide in the area served by the railroad, they are the focus of public attention because they impact so many people. Caltrain partners with regional and national suicide prevention organizations to provide outreach and education.

These tragic events impact not only on the friends and family of the deceased, but also employees, passengers on the trains and the local community. This year, a team of San Mateo County Transit District employees, who also manage Caltrain, raised more than $12,000 in the Out of the Darkness Overnight. The team joined more than 2,000 people in the 18-mile walk in San Francisco to benefit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

“Caltrain continues to be a strong partner to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention in the Bay Area and has consistently undertaken to raise awareness and show the communities that it serves just how important suicide prevention is to all of us,” said Valerie Kovacovich, AFSP Area Director. “AFSP commends Caltrain for its longstanding and continued efforts to help prevent suicide in Bay Area communities.”

In addition, Caltrain has invested millions of dollars in engineering projects that improve safety on the railroad.

As part of a multi-year program to fence one side of its 50-mile right of way, Caltrain installed an additional 8,000 feet of fencing this year at a cost of $500,000.

The modernization of the Santa Clara station was completed in January. The multi-million project included a new outside boarding platform and a pedestrian underpass, which improves safety for pedestrians at the station.

The $147 million San Bruno Grade Separation Project is at the half-way point.  The project will elevate the Caltrain tracks and the station above three at-grade street crossings and also includes three pedestrian underpasses.

Caltrain’s commitment to safety extends far beyond September, with a year-round, day-in, day-out emphasis on safety around trains and train tracks.

To schedule an Operation Lifesaver presentation contact Community Relations Officer Tasha Bartholomew at 650.508.7927.  To report suspicious persons or activities contact 1.877.SAF.RAIL.

About Amtrak California:
Under the Amtrak California banner, Caltrans funds three of the six busiest intercity passenger rail routes in the Amtrak system: the Pacific Surfliner® corridor (ranked second), the Capitol Corridor® (ranked third), and the San Joaquin corridor (ranked fifth). Caltrans manages both the Pacific Surfliner® and San Joaquin® corridors. The Capitol Corridor®, although funded by Caltrans, is managed by the Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority. Visit our website, join us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

About Amtrak®:
Amtrak is America’s Railroad®, the nation’s intercity passenger rail service and its high-speed rail operator. A record 31.2 million passengers traveled on Amtrak in FY 2012 on more than 300 daily trains – at speeds up to 150 mph (241 kph) – that connect 46 states, the District of Columbia and three Canadian Provinces. Amtrak operates intercity trains in partnership with 15 states and contracts with 13 commuter rail agencies to provide a variety of services. Enjoy the journey® on our website or call 800-USA-RAIL for schedules, fares and more information. Join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

If you have questions, please feel free to call Gayle Anderson at 323-460-5732 or e-mail Gayle at Gayle.Anderson@KTLA.com

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Gayle Anderson was live in Glendale because Caltrans and Amtrak are encouraging Californians to “Be Track Smart!” Gayle gets tips on rail safety from Caltrans’ Patrick Chandler.

Gayle Anderson was live in Glendale because Caltrans and Amtrak are encouraging Californians to “Be Track Smart!” Gayle gets tips on rail safety from Caltrans’ Patrick Chandler.

Gayle Anderson was live in Glendale because Caltrans and Amtrak are encouraging Californians to “Be Track Smart!” Gayle talks with Caltrans’ Patrick Chandler about people using common sense around railroad tracks.

Morning News
09/24/13

Rail Safety Month- Be Track Smart

Gayle Anderson was live in Glendale because Caltrans and Amtrak are encouraging Californians to “Be Track Smart!” Gayle speaks with Patrick Chandler of Caltrans to understand the purpose of the campaign.

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