Oceanside, CA—The North County Transit District (NCTD) Board of Directors adopted a proclamation at their July Board Meeting recognizing September 2017 as “State of California Rail Safety Month.” In doing so, NCTD is reaffirming its commitment to safety and saving lives through the prevention of needless tragedy.
Each year, hundreds of people are killed and thousands injured on railroad tracks in the United States. Rail safety education is one of the best defenses in preventing these incidents and is a proactive step to help insure the safety of San Diego County residents and visitors.
According to statistics kept by the Federal Railroad Administration and Operation Lifesaver, Incorporated, the State of California has been identified as having the highest number of preventable railroad trespasser fatalities of all states in the nation. There were 358 tragic rail incidents recorded statewide in 2016. From these rail incidents, there were 101 trespasser fatalities and 52 highway rail crossing fatalities.
In an effort to reduce these tragedies, State Legislators passed a bill in 2009 that designated September as “Rail Safety Month.” Each year, passenger and freight rail operations team up to remind pedestrians and motorists to exercise caution when near tracks, and to always “See Tracks, Think Train.”
NCTD takes steps to proactively communicate public safety awareness and education near and at its rail grade crossings and rail right-of-way to members of the communities it serves. This is done through public outreach and educational efforts throughout the year. For instance, NCTD visits schools to talk to students about rail safety, and includes safety messages on promotional items given to the public at outreach events. NCTD also recently worked with Amtrak to install 12 large suicide prevention signs along the corridor with a suicide prevention hotline number listed.
NCTD holds safety as its highest priority in the provision and operation of public transit services throughout its service area. NCTD takes every opportunity to incorporate the fundamental principles of safety in all of its operational plans, procedures, and processes.