Miami, Fla. – Sept. 24, 2018 – Brightline and South Florida's passenger and freight rail providers are highlighting the importance of being safe around railroad tracks during the second annual National Rail Safety Week taking place September 23 through 29. National Rail Safety Week is being spearheaded by Operation Lifesaver, Inc. (OLI) in partnership with the U.S. Department of Transportation.
For almost two years, Brightline has implemented an aggressive safety campaign that includes the development of tri-lingual materials that have been distributed in schools, at railroad crossings, local businesses and community events. In June, the company announced a partnership with Talent4Change and sponsored the BuzzBoxx, a mobile barbershop that in exchange for free haircuts has children or members of the homeless community take the pledge to stay safe around active railroad tracks. To date, more than 50 BuzzBoxx activations have occurred throughout South Florida. Brightline has also ran more than several thousand PSAs in English, Spanish and Creole and partnered with local law enforcement officials along the corridor and implemented training and safety outreach programs.
The BuzzBoxx was at the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce's 5th annual FUNclusion event this past Sunday and will be at multiple events throughout the region, including the City of Miami Parks and Recreation Department's Caribbean Market Day at Little Haiti Cultural Center on Saturday, September 29.
At the start of National Rail Safety Week, Brightline is sharing social media posts and the rail safety pledge with local communities and asking them to help share the message on social media. Brightline also has its Operation Lifesaver materials available in its three South Florida stations.
“Safety is our top priority, which is why we are partnering with our region's railroads and Operation Lifesaver to continue spreading the important message about how to stay safe around railroad tracks,” said Ben Porritt, senior vice president of corporate affairs. “We are thankful for our partners who help us amplify this important message today and every day. We strongly encourage the public to review the safety information and practice it – it could save your life.”
With two active rail corridors traversing the region, the Florida East Coast Railway (FECR) and the South Florida Rail Corridor, it is always the right time to emphasize ways to be safe. Brightline, the only privately owned, operated and maintained express intercity passenger rail system in the country, Tri-Rail, South Florida's public commuter rail service, and Florida East Coast Railway, the sole freight provider along the east coast of Florida are partnering to spread the word about ways to keep you, your friends and family safe around railroad tracks.
Communities along each corridor have established or are working to establish quiet zones, which means neither freight nor passenger trains will be required to blow their horns as they approach at grade crossings due to the installation of supplemental safety measures. However, a train engineer may blow the horn if there is an emergency on the tracks, like a trespasser or a vehicle. With the implementation of quiet zones, stakeholders along each corridor are strongly encouraged to make smart decisions, like staying off the tracks and not wearing headphones or being distracted.
While the number of highway-rail crossing collisions, deaths and injuries have dropped over the past five decades, every three hours in the U.S. a person or vehicle is hit by a train. These incidents are devastating to families, communities and train crew members – and they are often preventable.
Making the right decisions near railroad tracks can truly be the difference between life and death, today – and every day. Keep yourself, family and friends safe by following Operation Lifesaver's top five rail safety tips:
1) Look and listen for a train as you approach all railroad crossings - obey all signs, warning lights and gates.
2) Trains are quieter and faster than you think - never try to beat a train.
3) Because of their size and weight, it can take a mile or more to stop a train.
4) Always expect a train on any track; avoid distractions when you approach a crossing.
5) Railroad property is private property. Walking on the tracks is illegal and dangerous.
Brightline also encourages the media to share the national suicide prevention lifeline, 1-800-273-8255.
Brightline is the new benchmark for travel by train in America with express inter-city passenger rail service connecting Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, with expected future service to Orlando and Tampa, and expected future service connecting Las Vegas and Southern California. Providing a travel option that lives at the intersection of transportation and hospitality, the service will ease the stress of traffic, provide a simple and intuitive experience from door to destination, and foster new opportunities to explore more of Southeast Florida and the Southwestern United States. Brightline is the only privately owned, operated and maintained express intercity passenger rail system in the United States. For more information, visit our website: www.gobrightline.com and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
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Ali Soule: 305-521-4853
Michael Hicks: 561-655-3836