Railroad Safety for Teens
Teenagers are growing up in a different world. Cell phones cause them to be more easily distracted, and that leads to greater risk, especially for new drivers. In fact, every five days a child between the ages of 0 and 19 is killed in a train collision, and teens 15-19 are 4 times more likely than kids 10-14 and nearly 6 times more likely than kids 5-9 to be impacted.
Five Things to Teach Your Teens
- If you are using a cell phone, headphones or playing a game, remember: heads up, devices down when you cross the tracks.
- Only cross railroad tracks at a designated crossing. Designated crossings are marked by a sign, lights or a gate.
- If lights are flashing or the gate is down at a railroad crossing, wait for the train to pass completely and the gate to go back up before crossing. It is never okay to try and beat the train.
- A train can take up to a mile to stop. By the time the locomotive engineer sees someone or something on the tracks ahead; it is too late to stop.
- 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.
Teens in the Drivers Seat
Teens in the Driver Seat® is the first peer-to-peer program for teens that focuses solely on traffic safety and addresses all major risks for this age group.
Teens help shape the program and are responsible for implementing it and educating their peers and parents; Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) provides the science, guidance and project resources.
Teens in the Driver Seat® is available to high schools in 15 states. Additionally, the junior high school program is available in Georgia, Nebraska, and Texas.
Photos on Railroad Tracks?
Whether it’s a silly selfie or a photo with friends, taking pictures on train tracks is more than illegal – it can be deadly. Walking on train tracks is always dangerous and avoidable. Picture this: It’s a clear, quiet day and you find yourself in a scenic area on a railroad track. Think you’ll hear or see an approaching train? Think again. Most of a train’s sound is behind it, so you might not hear it until it’s too late. Always put your safety first and expect a train at all times.
This is a great way to get the conversation started. Find more railroad safety tips to protect your child from our partners at Safe Kids Worldwide. Union Pacific is proud to work with Safe Kids Worldwide through our Community Ties Giving Program. The partnership is designed to reach a full continuum – from pre-schoolers and K-12 youth to parents – with research-based education and messaging designed to reduce risky behaviors that lead to rail-related injuries.