CTDOT Press Releases
Operation Lifesaver, Inc. Launches Railroad Safety National Ad Campaign on Connecticut Airwaves
OLI celebrates 50th anniversary with rail safety public awareness campaign
Operation Lifesaver, Inc., the nonprofit public safety education and awareness organization launched a national public awareness advertising campaign in Connecticut.
Operation Lifesaver, Inc. (OLI) is dedicated to reducing collisions, fatalities, and injuries at highway-rail crossings and trespassing on or near railroad tracks. The three video ads, ranging from 15 to 60 seconds, highlight rail safety protocols and aim to increase awareness among rail passengers and pedestrians. The OLI ads will run on Connecticut TV stations until mid-June for the first time.
“Trains can run on any track at any time in either direction. This ad campaign reiterates the message: if you see train tracks, assume a train is nearby,” Connecticut Department of Transportation Commissioner Joseph Giulietti said. “We encourage all pedestrians and rail passengers to never cross over train tracks unless there is a marked designated crossing. We all need to do our part to reduce train collisions by staying off the tracks and staying alert.”
Since 2017, 30 pedestrian strikes and nine motor vehicle collisions have occurred on Connecticut rails. Already this year, Connecticut has experienced six pedestrian strikes and one motor vehicle collision.*
“Operation Lifesaver’s goals with this ad campaign are to educate the public and increase awareness about the dangers of rail incidents and how quickly they can occur,” Operation Lifesaver Connecticut State Coordinator Kevin Burns said. “For our 50th anniversary as an organization, we’re encouraging all residents of Connecticut to take the Rail Safety Pledge. Only together can we prevent train tragedies throughout the year.”
The OLI ad campaign will air for the next several weeks and the videos are also available online for viewing and sharing on social media.
Find the Blue & White gives step-by-step instructions for motor vehicle passengers if they find themselves stuck on rail tracks. Drivers should safely exit their vehicle, find the blue and white Emergency Notification System (ENS) sign on the at-grade crossings, and call the number on the sign, providing the operator with the crossing number located on the sign. The operator will then alert train traffic to slow down or change tracks. “Remember, find the blue and white to save your life,” the video states. “If an ENS sign cannot be found at a train track crossing, drivers can dial 911.”
See Tracks? Think Train! depicts a pedestrian walking along rail tracks while listening to music, unable to hear a train driving towards them until it’s too late. “It’s no contest,” warns the video. “Every day, people tempt fate and die trespassing on railroad tracks. See tracks? Think train.” This ad is also available in Spanish.
An alternate See Tracks? Think Train! ad showcases the equal force of a car crushing a soda can to a train striking a pedestrian or motor vehicle on the tracks.
In addition to ad campaigns, Operation Lifesaver also conducts several community outreach events every year and spearheads Rail Safety Week in September.
For more information about rail safety and to take the Rail Safety Pledge, visit OLI.org.
*Note: Data is up to date as of May 11, 2022.
About Operation Lifesaver
Operation Lifesaver, which this year celebrates the 50th anniversary of its founding in 1972, is a non-profit public safety education and awareness organization dedicated to reducing collisions, fatalities and injuries at highway-rail crossings and preventing trespassing on or near railroad tracks. In 1986 the non-profit Operation Lifesaver, Inc. national office was created to help support the efforts of state Operation Lifesaver programs, saving lives by sharing rail safety messages with audiences across the U.S. and beyond. A national network of trained volunteers gives free presentations on rail safety and a public awareness campaign, “See Tracks? Think Train!” provides tips and statistics to encourage safe behavior near the tracks. Learn more about Rail Safety Week; follow OLI on social media via Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube. In CT, the CT DOT administers the program.
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