Safety Information for Railroad Safety Week

A train passing by as the railroad lights flash.

Railroad Safety Week is September 23-29

Safe Kids and Union Pacific Railroad are teaming up to protect kids during Rail Safety Week. Safe Kids is proud to be working alongside Union Pacific to help spread this important safety information. To learn more about our partnership, check out our partnership page.

Railroad Safety Facts

About every 5 days, a child dies from a train collision. In 2017 alone, 75 children ages 0-19 died because of a collision with a train. These collisions occur both at railroad crossings as well as when children walk or ride on or around railway tracks, which is considered trespassing.

For more stats and facts on railroad safety, check out our latest fact sheet.

Railroad Safety Tips

To start changing these facts for the better, Safe Kids and Union Pacific recommend the following safety tips to keep children and adults safe around tracks.

  1. Only cross railroad tracks at a designated crossing. Designated crossings are marked by a sign, lights or a gate.
  2. If lights are flashing or the gate is down at a railroad crossing, wait for the train to pass completely before crossing. It is never okay to rush across and try to beat the train. Trains may be closer and faster than you think.
  3. Allow enough space for your vehicle to completely clear the entire railroad crossing, not just the tracks, before you attempt to cross. Remember, trains are at least three feet wider than the tracks on either side, so even though you clear the tracks, you may still get hit by the train.
  4. If you are using a cell phone, headphones or a game, remember: heads up, devices down when you cross the tracks. Once a train starts to brake, it can take a mile for the train to stop. So when you see a train, it’s already too late for it to stop for you. Headphones should be removed, so you can hear an approaching train’s horn.
  5. Don’t be tempted to walk along the railroad track. It might be a shortcut, but it is dangerous and not worth the risk. It is against the law to walk on the track and the land around it because it is private property.

For all our tips on rail safety, check out our railroad tips webpage or download our tip sheet.

Gary on the Street: Rail Safety

Do most people know how dangerous it can be to not act properly around railroad tracks? Our own Gary Karton takes to the street to talk to people about rail safety. Check it out.

Watch the Video | Learn more about Railroad Safety