Amtrak, Caltrans and the Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority will use Rail Safety Month in September as a kickoff to their yearlong “Be Track Smart” rail safety campaign, which offers facts and safety tips to reduce injuries and fatalities near railroad crossings and tracks.
“Our goal is to educate Californians to the potential dangers and get them to change how they think and behave around train tracks,” said Caltrans director Malcolm Dougherty.
Through Caltrans’ support of Operation Lifesaver, free education programs are available for community organizations, schools and businesses to alert Californians to the life-threatening dangers of trespassing on train tracks as well as the fines and penalties for not obeying the laws.
California rail safety and the law:
* Cross tracks only at designated pedestrian or roadway crossings. Violating warning signs and signals is a misdemeanor that can result in arrest, steep fines, a moving violation, a point on your driving record and increased insurance rates. (Fines and punishments are set by each county.)
* Remember to look both ways when crossing railroad tracks. If you see a train coming, don’t try to beat it. It can take a train up to a mile to stop.
* Modern trains are quiet, and can move forward or backward at any time without warning.
* Never walk, bike, jog or run down a train track. It’s illegal with stiff fines and possible jail time. More importantly, it can lead to injury or a fatality.
The Capitol Corridor serves 17 stations along the 170-mile rail corridor connecting Placer, Sacramento, Yolo, Solano, Contra Costa, Alameda, San Francisco and Santa Clara counties. One of the stations is in downtown Davis. For details, visit capitolcorridor.org.