Octa's transportation blog

September Is Rail Safety Month

In Orange County, trains are part of everyday life as they transport passengers and goods throughout the region. Here are some of the ways to stay clear and stay safe during Rail Safety Month and throughout the year.

Distracted driving on or near railroad tracks is dangerous. Each year, a startling number of people are killed or injured in an incident involving a train. Be aware and always stay clear of the crossing.

Remember that activities such as walking, jogging or posing on railroad tracks are considered trespassing and are extremely dangerous. Every three hours, a person or vehicle in the United States is hit by a train due to trespassing or ignoring warning signals.

Here are some additional safety tips to keep in mind while near a train track:

  • Red lights indicate a train is approaching from either direction. Never walk around or behind lowered gates at a crossing and do not cross the tracks until the lights have stopped flashing.
  • Stay alert around railroad tracks. Don’t text or use headphones, and do avoid other distractions that would prevent you from hearing an approaching train.
  • Lives are at stake. Vehicles at train crossings and pedestrians walking on tracks account for 95 percent of all rail-related deaths. Almost all of these deaths are preventable. Don’t become a statistic. Be aware of railroad tracks
  • and crossing gates when walking or driving.
  • More than 50 percent of people who die while walking on railroad tracks have alcohol or drugs in their system. Always make responsible decisions with your safety in mind.
  • By the time a locomotive engineer sees a person or vehicle on the tracks it’s too late. It takes the average train traveling at 55 mph more than a mile to stop. Don’t try to beat a train. They are approaching faster than it seems.

For more information about rail safety, please visit the OC Metrolink Rail Safety webpage.