It’s a matchup no person will ever win -a hit from an oncoming train. Yet every day, people across the Greater Philadelphia region attempt to beat those odds by making the risky choice of walking along train tracks.
“No one should ever assume that there is a time when tracks are completely clear of train traffic. A train can come on any track at any time,” said Scott Sauer, SEPTA’s Chief Officer of System Safety and a board member for Operation Lifesaver Inc., a national organization dedicated to rail safety.
In the past four days, four people walking in the SEPTA track area were injured by the Authority’s Regional Rail trains, resulting in two fatalities.
“The majority of train related incidents are preventable,” said Sauer. “A moving train can’t steer out of the way of a person in the tracks and it takes more effort and time to slow or stop a train. By crossing the tracks instead of using a dedicated overpass or underpass, people are putting themselves in imminent, and unnecessary, danger.”
According to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), nationwide, 476 people walking in the track area were killed by trains in 2013. Pennsylvania ranked sixth among all states, with 19 deaths.
To remind the public that train tracks are not the place for people, SEPTA has partnered with Operation Livesaver on the organization’s “See Tracks? Think Train!” initiative. This public service campaign is aimed at reducing the number of pedestrian injuries and fatalities around railroad tracks by highlighting risky behaviors. SEPTA’s System Safety officers will feature information from the program in the many Operation Lifesaver rail safety presentations they make across the Authority’s service area.
For more information about SEPTA safety and to download PDFs of safety tips for all SEPTA modes, click here. For information about SEPTA’s Operation Lifesaver presentations, and to schedule a presentation, call 215-580-7800. For more information about Operation Lifesaver, click here.