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Operation Lifesaver Inc. (OLI) yesterday released a new public service video to bring attention to the distractions that could lead to tragedies for pedestrians on or near railroad tracks.
The video highlights what can happen when pedestrians trespass on tracks. It also demonstrates the role that common distractions — such as being preoccupied with digital devices — play in creating unsafe situations, OLI officials said in a press release.
OLI developed the public service announcement (PSA) in response to an increase in railroad trespassing incidents. Preliminary 2018 statistics from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) show that 1,014 total trespassing injuries and deaths, on par with the 1,014 incidents in 2017 and an increase from the 946 incidents in 2016, OLI officials said.
“Near miss incidents are preventable, as are trespass casualties and deaths," said OLI Executive Director Rachel Maleh. "This new PSA campaign is intended to bring attention to the issue and encourage pedestrians to make life-saving decisions near the tracks.”
The FRA funded the PSA, its initial digital distribution and a pilot project with major railroads in Cook County, Illinois, to track near-miss pedestrian-train incidents. The Posner Foundation of Pittsburgh will provide funding to continue distribution of the campaign to targeted audiences.