Caltrain has launched a new Public Service Announcement (PSA) highlighting awareness near train tracks as part of Rail Safety Month in September.
The PSA, which is now available for viewing on Comcast network channels, is titled “15 Seconds Is All It Takes,” and details how a little patience can be the difference between life and death.
If motorists at intersections would just wait 15 seconds for trains to pass—instead of driving around downed gates—they would save themselves and their family members from great risk. The chance of injury or death is very real—every year, there are 150 collisions in California between trains and cars illegally stopped on the tracks.
The “15 Seconds Is All It Takes” video can be found on the Caltrain website here.
The creation of the PSA is part of Caltrain’s efforts to highlight Rail Safety Month, which is recognized by the agency every September. Earlier this month, Caltrain’s Board of Directors unanimously approved a resolution declaring September once again as Rail Safety Month, and the agency is also embarking on a new Grade Crossing Awareness Public Safety Program.
That program will have the Transit Police, a unit of the San Mateo County Sherriff’s Office dedicated to monitoring the Caltrain right-of-way, engaging in focused enforcement and education efforts at several grade crossings on Wednesday, September 21. The Transit Police will be issuing citations and handing out safety pamphlets at Broadway Street in Burlingame, Broadway Street and Whipple Avenue in Redwood City, and Oak Grove Avenue and Ravenswood Avenue in Menlo Park. Each individual who is issued a citation will also be given a Rail Safety brochure from the transit police.
These intersections were chosen because they have a history of multiple incidents, such as collisions and near misses, recorded over the past several years. The enforcement program on September 21 will be the second such effort, following a similar all-day event on September 12.
In addition to the PSA and the safety program, Caltrain has spent September highlighting some of the agency’s plans to improve grade crossings over the next year, which include installing roadway medians in front of gate arms, painting new pavement markings and improving signage.
Those efforts received a boost this month, when the Federal Railroad Administration awarded Caltrain $1.06 million in funding to install new safety measures at 10 grade crossings along its rail corridor. The funding will help pay for medians, traffic signal preemption technology, fences, gates, lighting and other upgrades.
Lastly, the rail agency addresses safety through a comprehensive, ongoing program that focuses on the “Three E’s” of railroad safety – Education, Engineering and Enforcement.
Caltrain’s commitment to safety extends far beyond September, with a year-round, day-in, day-out emphasis on safety around trains and train tracks.
About Caltrain: Owned and operated by the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board, Caltrain provides commuter rail service from San Francisco to San Jose, with limited commute service to Gilroy. Caltrain has enjoyed more than five years of consecutive monthly ridership increases, surpassing more than 60,000 average weekday riders earlier this year. While the Joint Powers Board assumed operating responsibilities for the service in 1992, the railroad celebrated 150 years of continuous passenger service in 2014. Planning for the next 150 years of Peninsula rail service, Caltrain is on pace to electrify the corridor, reduce diesel emissions by 97 percent by 2040 and add more service to more stations.