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Operation Lifesaver: U.S., Canada to join forces for 2018 Rail Safety Week

Operation Lifesaver Inc. (OLI) announced yesterday that the United States and Canada will combine efforts to recognize the same Rail Safety Week in 2018.

Rail Safety Week will be observed by U.S. and Canadian Operation Lifesaver programs and partners from Sept. 23 to 29, OLI officials said in a press release.

"Rail Safety Week is a key part of our ongoing mission of reducing collisions, fatalities and injuries at highway-rail crossings and preventing trespassing on or near railroad tracks, reinforced by our 'See Tracks? Think Train!' campaign," said OLI Interim President Wende Corcoran. "We look forward to working with Operation Lifesaver Canada on a coordinated Rail Safety Week effort this year."

In the United States, Operation Lifesaver will work with the U.S. Department of Transportation, the railroad industry, state Operation Lifesaver programs and other state and local safety partners on an awareness campaign, local events and distribution of safety tips to pedestrians, drivers, transit riders and passenger-rail users throughout the week.

Canada has observed Rail Safety Week in April for the past 15 years. U.S. Operation Lifesaver programs observed the first nationwide Rail Safety Week in 2017.

"By aligning our dates with those of the U.S., we're ensuring a more coordinated — and hopefully impactful — North American rail-safety campaign," said Sarah Mayes, national director of Operation Lifesaver Canada. "OL Canada's message for pedestrians and motorists this Rail Safety Week will be simple: Look. Listen. Live."

During the first U.S. Rail Safety Week, messages about crossing safety and trespass prevention reached millions of Americans and generated more than 270 million impressions via news media coverage and social media advertising, OLI officials said.

Among last year's activities:
• On Sept. 26, Amtrak and Operation Lifesaver partnered with 246 law enforcement agencies in 48 states on a coordinated crossing safety and trespass prevention enforcement event. More than 75,000 crossing safety tip cards were distributed, 573 citations were written to crossing violators, 1,029 warnings were issued and 19 arrests were made.
• OLI placed 23,828 radio public service announcements from the "See Tracks? Think Train!" campaign on 1,702 stations in 28 states, resulting in more than 23 million impressions.
• Digital campaigns in 26 states featured trespass prevention videos on Snapchat and YouTube, as well as crossing safety graphics on Facebook, resulting in 3.5 million impressions and engagement of more than 418,000 people.
• OLI ran a transit safety digital ad campaign in 13 cities determined by need for increased awareness, resulting in 7 million impressions and engagement of more than 280,000 people.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 2/9/2018