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Rail Safety Program


Introduction

The City of Riverside was recently recognized by both the State of California Assembly and Senate for its model program in rail safety developed through its partnership with Operation Lifesaver, Inc. The City of Riverside has designated September as "Railroad Safety Month."

On April 23, 2009, a tragic incident occurred at the Jackson Street rail crossing when an Arlington High School teenager was killed as he walked to school. In response to the accident, the City developed a coordinated public education campaign to ensure the community is aware of the dangers associated with rail traffic.

The City has partnered with Operation Lifesaver, BNSF Railway, Union Pacific Railway, Metrolink, Amtrak, RCTC, Federal Railroad Administration, California Public Utilities Commission and both the Riverside and Alvord Unified School Districts to bring an important rail safety message to its residents: Stay Off! Stay Away! And Stay Alive!

As part of rail safety month, safety presentations will be given to students, school and transit bus drivers, professional truck drivers, emergency responders, businesses and various community groups.

The City of Riverside's efforts do not stop in September, its rail safety program will continue year round. For more information on rail safety, please visit www.oli.org or call 3-1-1.

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Statistics

  • Riverside has 25 at-grade (street level) railroad crossings.
  • California ranks 5th in the nation for rail crossing collisions and 3rd for fatalities (2008 Federal Rail Association (FRA) statistics).
  • The national casualty rate for all rail trespassers rose in 2008 with more than 870 deaths or injuries.
  • In California, there were 162 accidents in 2007 and 140 accidents in 2008 at grade crossings

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Volunteer

If you want to give back to your community by sharing the rail safety message, there are two ways to join in this important mission.

  1. If you enjoy public speaking, please contact Operation Lifesaver, Inc. about becoming a trained and certified Operation Lifesaver Presenter.

    Presenter Certification at a Glance:
    • Successfully complete the Presenter’s Certification Course, give a 10-minute condensed Operation Lifesaver Adult Presentation, receive an acceptable rating from the Trainer and obtain a passing score on the Post-Course Test.
    • After completing the Presenter’s Certification Course, a presenter must give their first full public presentation within 90 days. The presenter candidate must receive an acceptable rating from the assigned trainer or presenter to become officially certified. In some circumstances, additional training and more than one presentation and evaluation may be required beyond the 90-day period before the presenter can successfully complete the certification process.
    • Presenters must fully understand and agree to abide by all general policies and procedures of OLI as stated in the Volunteer Application.
    • Each Presenter must give a minimum of four (4) presentations a year to maintain certification. This minimum requirement may be waived under special circumstances with the written approval of the state coordinator. Presenters inactive for a period of twelve (12) months are subject to review and loss of certification by OLI.
  2. If you’re not as comfortable with public speaking -- that’s OK. Operation Lifesaver also needs non-speakers as Associates to staff booths and displays at fairs, keep inventory of educational materials, write newsletters and grants, plan and assist with events, help with clerical tasks, serve as fund raisers, schedule presentations, and other activities.

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Schedule a Training Session

Riverside has made rail safety a top priority and recognizes that in addition to engineering and enforcement, education is critical. So, the City partnered with Operation Lifesaver to provide educational opportunities.

Operation Lifesaver Presenters are trained and certified to provide important safety information to driver's education students and other school children, community service clubs and civic groups, school bus operators and professional truck drivers, company safety programs and others. Your State Coordinator can help you schedule a free highway-rail or pedestrian safety presentation in your community, with sufficient advance notice.

Please visit Operation Lifesaver at www.oli.org.

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