WASHINGTON, DC, May 1, 2012 – May is National Bike Month, and Operation Lifesaver, Inc., (http://www.oli.org), is sharing tips for safe biking near train tracks. Last year, 773 people were killed or injured in the U.S. while illegally walking, bicycling, or playing on railroad tracks or property. This year Operation Lifesaver is partnering with the League of American Bicyclists to urge bicyclists to use these safety reminders.
“Tragically, every year bicyclists are among those hit by a train while trying to ride across train tracks or walking too near the tracks,” says Helen M. Sramek, president, Operation Lifesaver. “We urge all bicyclists to use care at railroad crossings or near train tracks,” notes Sramek.
“As a leader in bicycle education nationwide through our Smart Cycling curricula, the League teaches riders to be vigilant and alert of their surroundings — especially around train tracks,” says Andy Clarke, president of the League of American Bicyclists.
Six Rail Safety Tips for Bike Riders
1) Crossing Tracks on a Bicycle Requires Caution and Extra Attention! Narrow wheels can get caught between the rails. Always cross tracks at a 90-degree angle. If you’re in doubt about your approach, walk rather than ride your bike across the tracks.
2) Use only designated railroad crossings. The only legal and safe place to cross railroad tracks is at a designated public crossing with a crossbuck, flashing red lights or a gate.
3) Turn off music and remove earphones at all rail crossings. Music can be a deadly distraction near the tracks – preventing you from hearing an approaching train.
4) Wet train tracks can be slippery. Dismount and walk your bike across the tracks. Step over the tracks – not on them – to avoid slipping.
5) Watch out for the second train. Wait after the first train passes until you can see clearly in both directions.
6) If you see a train coming, wait! Flashing lights or a lowering gate means a train is approaching. Do not proceed until the gates go completely up and the lights go off. It is illegal to go around lowered gates, whether on a bike, on foot or in a vehicle.
About Operation Lifesaver
Operation Lifesaver’s mission is to end collisions, deaths and injuries at highway-rail grade crossings and along railroad rights of way. A national network of volunteers provides free presentations on rail safety. For more information or to request a free safety presentation, visit www.oli.org.
Video clip of bike safety tips at Operation Lifesaver website: http://oli.org/video/view/bike-safety-tips-around-tracks-and-trains
About the League of American Bicyclists
The League of American Bicyclists promotes bicycling for fun, fitness and transportation, and works through advocacy and education for a bicycle-friendly America. The League represents the interests of America’s 57 million bicyclists, including its 300,000 members and affiliates. Learn more at www.bikeleague.org.