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November 02, 2009

All Aboard for Safe Crossing Week, November 1-7, 2009

Railroad_crossingDid you know that a train traveling at 55 mph can take a mile or more to stop? That's about 20 football fields. It might look like it's traveling slowly, but believe it or not, a train can arrive at its crossing within 20 seconds of when the signal lights begin to flash!

In 2008, 744 people were killed and 1,372 were injured in incidents involving trains in the United States. These incidents involved either trains and people or trains and motor vehicle occupants. In 2008, a total of 22 children ages 14 and under were killed and 122 were injured in incidents involving trains.

 It's because of these statistics that Safe Kids USA and CN, one of the largest railroads in North America, are working together again on Safe Crossing Week 2009 to encourage parents, teachers, and caregivers to teach elementary school children how to safely cross railroad tracks.

Safe Crossing Week 2009 focuses on teaching Safety for life. Although parents are responsible for their kids' safety, children can be little ambassadors for a safer community. Children pass along what they learn to their families and set good examples as role models for one another. If we want to build a culture of safety, it starts with reaching children early so that safe practices and behaviors become second-nature as they grow and develop into safe teens and adults. And it means that parents must also teach their children to respect all signs and signals, and never drive around guard rails or try to beat the train. Click here to download a PDF to help you discuss railroad safety with your kids.

This year's in-school program provides grade level-specific railroad safety curriculum and activities. This year, some of the nation's leading children's hospitals and children's museums have come on board to hold special events to further broaden the reach of the program. Local Safe Kids safety experts, CN Police officers, and CN employee volunteers are teaching more than 50,000 students in hundreds of elementary schools and other locations across the United States, making it the largest and most widespread Safe Crossing Week in history. (Not sure if your community or school is participating in Safe Crossing Week? Click here to contact your local Safe Kids coalition.) 

We all know how fascinated our little ones can be with those giant trains. Please take this opportunity to ensure they are carefully instructed to observe the best possible rail crossing safety!

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