California has the highest trespassing and crossing-grade injuries and fatalities of any other state, which is why in 2009 the State Legislature designated September Rail Safety Month. Each year during September we work with our partners—Caltrans, Amtrak, Union Pacific, and Operation Lifesaver—to raise awareness about rail safety, suicide prevention, and being Track Smart.
On Wednesday, September 17, Caltrans hosted an event at the Emeryville Station asking people to make the pledge to be Track Smart by signing a large banner that had also been at Los Angeles Union Station and San Diego Station earlier in September. Many people made the pledge, including the Mayor of Emeryville, Jac Asher. Dena Betti, whose daughter Jenna was killed in a rail related accident, was also present at the event and spoke about the importance of educating children on the dangers of train tracks. The pledge banner will make its final stop at the Sacramento Station on Tuesday, September 30 from 7-10 a.m.
While we always remain diligent about track upgrades here at Capitol Corridor, unfortunately these improvements do not prevent all accidents—many people are simply too complacent around trains and don’t take proper precautions. Make sure you and the people you care about know how to be Track Smart. Here’s how you can save a life and stay safe:
- Cross train tracks only at designated crossings, and don’t try to beat the train when you hear one coming. A train can take up to a mile to stop, and comes faster than you think!
- When you see tracks, think train. Trains can come at any time from either direction, so be alert and don’t linger near the tracks.
- Trains other than Capitol Corridor trains may come through the station, and their arrival times may not be displayed, especially if they are freight trains. For your safety, stay behind the yellow line at all times so that you are not caught unawares by a passing train.