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UTU members to help Metra spread safety message

The United Transportation Union is joining Northeast Illinois Regional Commuter Railroad Corp.’s (Metra) campaign to promote safety near trains, tracks and grade crossings. UTU-represented conductors and assistant conductors will help Metra representatives distribute written safety messages to passengers.

In March, Metra began its safety campaign under which the railroad’s officials are asking the 3,700 school districts within Metra's service area to incorporate rail safety warnings in their daily announcements and emphasize that railroad tracks should not be used as a path or shortcut; providing schools with videos promoting safety around trains and tracks; asking Boy and Girl Scout troop leaders to speak to scouts about train safety; requesting local television stations to air 30-second rail-safety public service announcements aimed at children; and running full-page ads about safety in local newspapers.

Since January, six people have been killed by Metra trains, including a 14-year-old girl struck while walking along track wearing headphones; a 13-year-old girl using Metra as a shortcut to school; a 16-year-old boy who jumped onto the tracks at a station; and a sailor who attempted to cross Metra tracks.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 5/6/2004