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Transportation Organizations Join in an Effort to Keep Their Communities “Safe First”

CONTACT: Elicia D. Rodriguez (973-491-7078)

NEWARK, NJ, August 8, 2001 -- Eleven rail corporations have come together for a historic collaboration. NJ TRANSIT, PATCO, CSX Transportation, PATH, Conrail, Norfolk Southern, Amtrak, the New Jersey Shortline Railroad Association and New York, Susquehanna and Western Railway Corporation have joined forces on a poster campaign to educate their customers and the general public about railroad safety. The campaign's main purpose is to educate individuals about the high potential of injury or death when they choose to ignore rail safety rules.

The theme of the poster campaign focuses on one of the biggest transportation fallacies, "that trains can stop as quickly as cars." This misconception has many believing that once an engineer sees a pedestrian or vehicle on the tracks, there should be enough time for the train to either stop or for the railroad trespasser to move out of the way. The truth is that it takes a passenger train -- traveling at 60 miles per hour -- 1,800 feet to stop during an emergency.

Due to advancements in technology, trains now operate quietly at high speed. This positive advancement makes it more difficult to hear an approaching train.

"NJ TRANSIT's number one priority is safety. As an organization, we make every effort to protect riders and the general public," said NJ TRANSIT Board Chairman and State Transportation Commissioner James Weinstein. "Our jobs are made more difficult when individuals are unaware of the dangers of trespassing on our right-of-way or cross a track in undesignated areas."

"These posters are graphic reminders of the dangers of trespassing on our right-of-way," said NJ TRANSIT Executive Director, Jeffrey A. Warsh. "As a father and as Executive Director of NJ TRANSIT, I believe we should protect our families and children from avoidable accidents, in this case by understanding and safely coexisting with trains."

For years, NJ TRANSIT has been proactively promoting rail safety. From the Corporation's rail school safety program to the Cool Cat presentation, the awareness about the dangers of trespassing on the tracks has become widespread. Cool Cat has been making great headway with her appearance at over 80 local schools to educate students about rail and light rail safety. Posters for the safety campaign will be placed at NJ TRANSIT rail facilities, on-board buses, on the PATH system and at local businesses located near railroad tracks or grade crossings.

NJ TRANSIT is the nation's largest statewide public transportation system providing bus, rail and light rail services for 373,500 daily commuters on 240 bus routes, two light rail lines and 12 commuter rail lines. It is the third largest transit system in the country with 162 rail stations, 26 light rail stations and more than 17,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.


NOTE TO EDITORS: If you would like more information about NJ TRANSIT’s Cool Cat or our “Be Cool Safety” presentations, please call 973-491-7092. If you would like more information about the rail school safety programs, please call 973-491-7953. If you would like a copy of the campaign poster (hard or electronic copy), or have any questions, please contact Elicia Rodriguez at the above listed number for further information.