3-R’s: Readin’, Ritin’ and Railroads
A “Back to School” Railroad Safety Reminder
Columbus (Wednesday, August 24, 2011) -- As tens of thousands of Ohio students head back to elementary, middle and high schools in our communities, the sidewalks and streets many will travel will likely cross a railroad track: some of those tracks carrying in excess of 50 to 100 trains a day through Ohio.
That’s why the two most critical lessons need to be learned well before these students even get to school:
Don’t walk or drive around operating railroad crossing lights & gates.
Don’t use a railroad track or right-of-way as a shortcut.
Sadly, in recent years in Ohio, we’ve seen several children struck, injured or killed when they tried to beat an oncoming train at a grade crossing or as they trespassed on railroad property as a shortcut between home and school.
Safety is one of the prime missions of the Ohio Rail Development Commission. The ORDC urges all parents and guardians of school-age children to teach them the following:
- That a railroad grade crossing or railroad track is not playground or a short cut.
- Whether a grade crossing is protected by lights and gates or just a cross-buck sign, always assume a train is coming and look both ways.
- If grade crossing lights are flashing and the crossing gates are down….wait for the train or trains to pass and don’t cross until the lights stop flashing and the gates go back up. DO NOT WALK OR DRIVE AROUND OPERATING LIGHTS & GATES!
- Walking on or along railroad tracks is trespassing and subject to arrest and fines.
- Walking on or along railroad tracks is also extremely dangerous, especially if you are wearing a hooded coat or sweatshirt, headphones or even under windy weather conditions….all of which can block out the noise of an on-coming train until it’s too late to escape.
- Trains move faster than they look: some freight trains can be traveling up to 60 MPH and Amtrak passenger trains up to 79 MPH.
The staff and Commissioners of the ORDC urge you to have a safe and happy school year by following the simple advice of national rail safety organization, Operation Lifesaver:
“Look, Listen and Live”
For more information contact:
Stu Nicholson, ORDC Communications,
at 614-644-0513 or