Needless Tragedies Must Stop
Oceanside – California has the highest number of grade crossing fatalities in the United States and with 63 miles of track included in its operation, North County Transit District (NCTD) and its railroad service partners place the highest priority on rail safety. During September Rail Safety Month, NCTD reminds pedestrians and motorists to prevent a needless tragedy, heed the warning signals and to always remember, “See Tracks, Think Trains.”
In 2020, 245 trespassing incidents on railroad tracks in California ended with 115 injuries and 130 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 operators team up to remind pedestrians and motorists to exercise caution when near tracks.
NCTD holds safety as one if its core values in the provision and operation of public transit services throughout its service area. Through public outreach, NCTD will continue to promote safety awareness and education near and at its rail grade crossings and railroad right-of-way to members of the communities it serves.
“Safety really is at the top of NCTD’s priority list. Education is one of the keys to keeping the public safe around the tracks,” said Tony Kranz, NCTD Board Chair, Encinitas Deputy Mayor. “The tracks are not somewhere to be playing, taking photos, or exercising. Tracks are only for trains.”
Last year’s tragic losses were not an anomaly. In the last two calendar years, there were 467 tragic rail incidents (directly related to trespassing) recorded statewide of which 259 were fatal and 208 resulted in injury.
For more information about rail safety, visit GoNCTD.com or follow NCTD on Twitter @GoNCTD.