On March 15th, 2018, the Vermont Rail Action Network will present Safety First! at the Vermont State House, Cedar Creek Room at 2:30 - 4:00 PM.
Legislators, rail advocates and media representatives are invited to attend.
Purpose & focus:
Speakers will provide national and local perspective on what Amtrak, VTrans, railroad companies and law enforcement are doing to enhance Vermonters’ safety on and around railroads. We will discuss current risks and recent data about the risks and social costs of trespassing on tracks and crossings, Operation Lifesaver campaign to reduce collisions at train crossings, and what law enforcement and local officials can do to reduce injuries and fatalities. Speakers include members of a Vermont family personally affected by one such tragedy.
- Trains are among the safest forms of transportation. While freight and passenger traffic has steadily increased in the past ten years, rail accidents and fatalities are down by 1/3 since 2005.
- 94% of all rail fatalities are due to trespassing on railroad tracks. Most victims are young men aged 18-35. Public outreach to reduce trespassing by individuals in this age group is good public policy, and will likely yield the best results.
- VRAN partners with Amtrak, VTrans, local law enforcement, railroads and media partners in public education & outreach re: reducing accidents at rail crossings, on tracks, and around railyards. Each partner has a role to play to reduce collisions, and increase public safety.
At the event, media representatives will be invited to ask questions or interview all speakers. Operation Lifesaver public outreach materials, rail safety fact sheets and results of national studies on the causes & effective prevention of accidents and injuries will be available. The event is free & open to the public.
VRAN has worked since 1972 to promote the modernization and revitalization of the Vermont rail network for passengers and freight. Our goal is to strengthen Vermont’s economic climate by improving rail infrastructure, and expand the availability of cost-effective rail transportation. VRAN works with diverse stakeholders including rail freight haulers and shippers, Amtrak, public transit providers, state and federal agencies, elected officials, community leaders, rail entrepreneurs and the public to educate and advocate for the cause of railroads, and to promote the expansion of rail-based services.