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May 14, 2008

NEWARK, NJ Ė NJ TRANSIT is beginning public outreach next month in an effort to grab the attention of motorists and pedestrians regarding railroad safety.

Funded by a federal grant obtained by the NJ TRANSIT Police Department through the state Division of Highway and Traffic Safety, the program improves community policing, education and outreach to transit riders and motorists.

The outreach materials include police hand-outs that reference the dangers of ignoring warning devices at railroad crossings. Banners will be hung at local stations with grade crossings, and customers will receive information on their seats.

"Safety is our highest priority, and that commitment to education and prevention extends beyond our customers and employees to include everyone who interacts with our statewide public transportation system," said NJ TRANSIT Chairman and Transportation Commissioner Kris Kolluri.

"We are targeting adults with this campaign to supplement the education we already provide to thousands of school children throughout the state each year," said NJ TRANSIT Executive Director Richard Sarles. "While most adults exhibit good common sense at our railroad crossings, itís always a good idea to reinforce good habits and remind people of simple tips to ensure personal safety."

In addition to the community outreach, NJ TRANSIT is developing a pilot program on railroad safety to augment driverís education courses taught to high school students in New Jersey. NJ TRANSIT currently is working with six high schools to develop the workshop materials, including a New Jersey-specific PowerPoint presentation and a video supplied by the national rail safety organization, Operation Lifesaver.

The six schools are:

  • Burlington City
  • Palmyra
  • Cinnaminson
  • Bordentown
  • Dr. Charles E. Brimm Medical Arts (Camden)
  • Create Charter School (Jersey City)

NJ TRANSIT has a longstanding youth safety program in which officials visit more than 100 schools each year, making age-appropriate presentations on rail and light rail safety to students in grades K-12. In 2007, about 94,000 students attended a NJ TRANSIT safety presentation. To request a presentation, schools may call the NJ TRANSIT Rail Safety Education Program at 973-491-7953.


NJ TRANSIT is the nation's largest statewide public transportation system providing nearly 865,000 weekday 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 164 rail stations, 60 light rail stations and more than 18,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.