In 2008, approximately 744 people were killed and 1,372 were injured in incidents involving trains in the United States. These incidents involved either trains and pedestrians or trains and motor vehicle occupants. Twenty-two children ages 14 and under were killed, and another 122 were injured, in incidents involving trains.
Safe Crossing Week, Nov. 1 to 7, 2009, is sponsored by CN, one of the largest railroads in North America, and Safe Kids USA. They suggest the following tips for parents and children to stay safe near railroad tracks:
- Only cross at marked railroad crossings. Always look both ways before crossing the tracks.
- Obey all signs and signals. Listen for a warning bell or train whistle. Watch for flashing lights.
- Never try to cross the tracks if a train is coming. Trains are very large and heavy, and take a long time to stop!
- When a train is coming, stand at least 10 giant steps away from the tracks. If one train passes, make sure another one isn’t coming. Trains can come from any direction at any time on any track.
- Get off your bike and walk it across the tracks. Don’t forget to wear your helmet when you ride your bike.
- Walking or playing on or near railroad tracks is dangerous.