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Rail News: Communication and Signal

BNSF banks on teen meetings, school presentations to boost crossing safety

Denver's Minnie Rates Driving School recently recognized Burlington Northern Santa Fe, Colorado Operation Lifesaver and other volunteers for helping to teach teen drivers the three "L's" of railroad safety: look, listen and live.

Since 1997, BNSF officials have met with teenagers throughout Colorado and western Kansas to emphasize grade-crossing safety.

"Teens tend to have an attitude that they're invincible and don't realize the potential severity of an accident with a train," said BNSF Coordinator of Field Safety Support Steve Patterson in a prepared statement. "Our message to them early in their driving careers is simply, "You won't get hit by a train if you stay off the tracks.'"

Last year, BNSF's 20 field safety coordinators and other trained presenters also completed 4,800 presentations across the railroad's system designed to educate children on rail safety.

"To get the word out, we partner with schools grade K through 12, teen driving schools, adult community organizations, first responders and other emergency personnel, commercial drivers — such as truck and school bus drivers — and police and other law enforcement officers," said BNSF Director of Field Safety Support Rob Roy. "We feel strongly that all grade-crossing collisions are preventable, and we're committed to getting that message out."

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More News from 2/17/2004