The railroad safety education and outreach unit of the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s rail division – known as BeRailSafe – recently partnered with the Miriam P. Brenner Children’s Museum and the Greensboro Police Department to teach kids about railroad track safety recently.
[Above photo by NCDOT]
The museum hosted BeRailSafe staff during a planned field trip for readings of NCDOT’s “Tracks Are for Trains” book to educate Guilford County school children and parents about the dangers of trespassing on railroad tracks. Additionally, police officers displayed equipment they use to monitor and enforce railroad track trespassing activity.
“We appreciate the chance to partner with organizations to help spread our safety education to as many people as possible, especially children,” explained Ain Flowers, NCDOT’s BeRailSafe program coordinator, in a statement.
“As we teach kids about the dangers of crossing the street, we need to teach them as early as possible it’s also dangerous to walk or cross or play on railroad tracks,” Flowers noted. “Our number one goal is to save lives.”
The BeRailSafe program provides free rail safety training to local police, fire and 911 dispatchers across the state, as well as to town and city planning and administration departments. Staff with the outreach program also promote rail safety statewide at festivals and events.
State departments of transportation across the country engage in a variety of railroad safety efforts on a continual basis.
For example, many state DOTs worked to support the 2023 Rail Safety Week campaign in September; an annual week-long event aimed at preventing tragedies around railroad tracks and trains across North America spearheaded by Operation Lifesaver (OLI), Operation Lifesaver Canada, and the Mexican Association of Railroads.
According to OLI, every year, 2,100 North Americans are killed or seriously injured when they engage in unsafe behavior around tracks and trains. In the U.S. alone, a person or vehicle is hit by a train every three hours, the group said.