WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Tuesday, Operation Lifesaver Inc. (OLI), in partnership with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), awarded more than $200,000 in grants to 13 state Operation Lifesaver programs for a variety of highway-rail grade crossing safety public education projects.

The winning projects operate in conjunction with the nonprofit safety group’s ongoing “See Tracks? Think Train!” public awareness campaign.

The grants will be awarded to Operation Lifesaver organizations in California, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin. These state programs will use the funding to spread “See Tracks? Think Train!” safety messages via television, radio, billboards, sporting events and movie theater advertising. The programs will create displays for public education at large events, and target students, school bus drivers, Spanish-speaking populations and the news media to raise awareness about the dangers near tracks and trains.

“The grants will fund a wide variety of projects to expand the reach of our ongoing safety campaign and further Operation Lifesaver’s mission of eliminating collisions, injuries and deaths at crossings and along rail property,” said Joyce Rose, OLI’s president and CEO.

The FHWA, a national partner and adviser of Operation Lifesaver, provided the funding for this new grant program.

“Our rail safety partnership with Operation Lifesaver is very important to FHWA, and we are proud to be a part of the “See Tracks? Think Train!” educational campaign,” said Federal Highway Administrator Greg Nadeau.

Some of the projects funded by the FHWA grants involve schools and school buses:

•    Indiana will target communities along the Jeffersonville to Indianapolis rail corridor with outreach to schools, truck driver and driver education organizations, radio PSAs, signage at crossings and law enforcement safety blitzes.
•    South Carolina will target schools throughout the state in close proximity to train tracks with a plan to distribute “See Tracks? Think Train!” materials and PSAs to students and school activity bus drivers.
•    Utah will purchase TV and movie theater ads to combat dangerous driver behavior at railroad crossings, and distribute posters to school districts and trucking companies.

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