“Use Your Brain. Look Out for a Train!” “Come on- you have a life to live! Stay off the tracks!” The railroad safety messages crafted by students from Folsom, Pa.’s Edgewood Elementary School for SEPTA’s seventh annual system-wide Safety Day get right to the point: rail stations and train tracks are not playgrounds.
SEPTA asked the first through fifth grade Edgewood students to depict what rail safety means to them. The students’ work was unveiled today, for the Authority’s Safety Day. Fifteen students’ artwork and safety tips are featured on SEPTA’s new “Respect the Train” bus wrap and safety literature.
“The Edgewood students did a great job conveying the message ‘Respect the Train’,” said SEPTA Assistant General Manager of System Safety Jim Fox. “The Edgewood students hit many of the important safety points with their drawings-stay off of the tracks, stand behind the yellow tactile strips on platforms and look for trains. All of our passengers will learn from the children’s work.”
SEPTA recognized the students’ contributions and revealed the new student-designed safety-themed bus at a Safety Day assembly at Edgewood Elementary, which is part of the Ridley School District and located at 525 8th Avenue in Folsom.
“Edgewood Elementary is located near Morton Station on our Media/Elwyn Regional Rail Line,” said Fox. “Many of the students have ridden our trains and know where the railroad tracks are located. They understand how the public should behave on and around our vehicles and property and that trespassing on tracks is never an option.”
Prior to the Safety Day assembly, SEPTA employees greeted morning commuters at 11 Regional Rail and rail transit stations, distributing brochures featuring the Edgewood students’ artwork and safety tips and answering passengers’ safety questions.
“The bus wrap and brochures designed by the students give us more tools when we travel throughout the region reminding our customers and neighbors to ‘Respect the Train’,” said SEPTA General Manager Jeffrey Knueppel. “Safety is our number one priority for the Authority and our employees. We want our passengers and the members of our community who live, drive or work near our railroad stations and tracks to share the same commitment to rail safety.”
SEPTA will reward the students on May 8, when they are given a special behind-the-scenes-“Day at SEPTA”.
“To thank the students for their help with our safety education program, we are hosting them at our headquarters,” said Fox. “We will give them a tour of our Control Center and, let them test our train and bus simulators, ride a bus through the bus wash at our Southern District and have them spend time with General Manager Knueppel, Chief Nestel and our transit police officers. We want them to know why their messages are important and how we will use them at outreach events over the next year.”
SEPTA’s system-wide Safety Day is an extension of the Authority’s “Safety Blitz” education program.
“At least once a month, our safety officers and police officers visit railroad, rail transit and bus stations across the Authority, reviewing regulations and precautions with thousands of customers,” said Fox. “We often visit locations as a result of community request or stations that have a high volume of customers or trespassers.”
SEPTA’s System Safety Department also makes Operation Lifesaver rail safety presentations to students from kindergarten through high school and to a wide variety of audiences such as hearing and visually impaired adults, driver’s education students, emergency responders and professional drivers. SEPTA offers the presentations – which are aimed at reducing the number of pedestrian and driver injuries and fatalities around railroad tracks by highlighting risky behaviors – free of charge to school and community groups.
For more information about SEPTA safety and to download PDFs of safety tips for all SEPTA modes, visit http://www.septa.org/safety/tips/. For information about SEPTA’s Operation Lifesaver presentations, and to schedule a presentation, call 215-580-7800. For more information about Operation Lifesaver, visit http://oli.org/.