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NJ TRANSIT SHOWS PLAINFIELD STUDENTS THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING SAFE NEAR RAILROADS

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May 12, 2004 – Don’t play near railroad tracks. Cross them only at designated areas, and observe all warning signs and signals. These were some of the safety messages NJ TRANSIT and the national Operation Lifesaver program shared today to nearly 300 Plainfield schoolchildren.

“Educating our children about railroad safety is an important part of NJ TRANSIT’s mission, and the earlier we begin this effort, the sooner children can avoid dangerous behavior around train tracks,” said NJ TRANSIT Executive Director George D. Warrington. “We continue to be vigilant in spreading our safety message to the public, and our own comprehensive rail safety program continues to reach approximately 35,000 students each year throughout our state.”

Elementary school students from Woodland School and Evergreen School hopped onboard a Raritan Valley Line train from the Netherwood and Plainfield station headed to High Bridge. For many students, this was their first trip onboard a train, which gave transit officials the opportunity to educated them on the importance of being safe when near railroad crossings.

Operation Lifesaver is a national organization dedicated to reducing accidents, injuries and fatalities at railroad grade crossings. The program is sponsored cooperatively by federal, state and local government agencies, civic organizations and the nation's railroad agencies. NJ TRANSIT also offers safety education programs throughout the state as a community service. The programs are designed to educate adults and children on the dangers of trespassing along railroad tracks and not obeying warnings at railroad crossings. For more information on the program, please call NJ TRANSIT’s Rail Safety Department at 973-491-7953.

NJ TRANSIT is the nation's largest statewide public transportation system providing more than 752,600 daily trips on 240 bus routes, three light rail lines and 11 commuter rail lines. It is the third largest transit system in the country with 162 rail stations, 49 light rail stations and more than 17,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.