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Stop track tragedies

September is Rail Safety Month - Tracks are for Trains

OCEANSIDE – Every three hours in the United States, a person or vehicle is hit by a train. With 63 miles of track included in its operation, North County Transit District and its railroad service partners are encouraging everyone to keep rail safety top of mind. During September Rail Safety Month, NCTD reminds pedestrians and motorists to stop track tragedies by heeding warning signals, and to only use designated railroad crossings.

Taking a shortcut near railroad tracks can leave you maimed, taking a selfie can take your life. These brief videos from Operation Lifesaver, Inc. offer a stark reminder of the importance of rail safety. – “Results of taking a short cut” – “No selfie is worth a life”

In 2021, California ranked second in the nation for the number of rail grade crossing collisions with 169. Of those collisions, there were 35 deaths and 37 people were injured. In the category of pedestrian rail trespass casualties (fatalities + injuries), California ranked at the top of the list. There were 242 casualties that resulted in 141 deaths and 101 injuries.

In an effort to reduce these tragedies, state legislators passed a bill in 2009 that designated September as "Rail Safety Month." Each year, passenger and freight rail operators team up to remind pedestrians and motorists to exercise caution when near tracks.

“We are asking the public to take time to know the facts about rail safety and make good decisions,” said Jewel Edson, NCTD board chair, Solana Beach City councilmember. “Share rail safety information so together we can stop track tragedies.”

NCTD holds safety as one if its core values in the provision and operation of public transit services throughout its service area. The NCTD Board of Directors adopted a resolution at their July board meeting declaring September as Rail Safety Month. Through public outreach, NCTD will continue to promote safety awareness and education near and at its rail grade crossings and railroad right-of-way to members of the communities it serves.

For more information about rail safety, visit

Submitted by North County Transit District.


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