The Regional Transit Authority (RTA) in New Orleans recently launched a new public safety campaign titled Tracks Can Kill: Live Outside the Lines. The campaign is specifically targeted to pedestrians, drivers, joggers, cyclists and all who encounter the streetcars on a regular basis. The overall goal of the campaign is to educate the public about the safest ways to coexist with streetcars in an effort to eliminate all preventable accidents.
Through the use of television PSAs, advertisements on RTA vehicles, brochures, flyers and social media, the safety campaign grabs the viewer’s attention with creative and direct messaging encouraging citizens to “think again” so that they avoid dangers while near a streetcar line.
Streetcars travel at a lower speed than most rail vehicles, but like many other rail vehicles, most streetcars cannot come to an immediate stop. The difference in time and inches can be a matter of life and death.
Because pedestrians and drivers are often unaware of the potential dangers of a rail line, streetcar operators have few options when a pedestrian or driver comes into the immediate path of a moving streetcar, resulting in an unnecessary incident. This safety campaign brings greater awareness to the hazards associated with jogging and cycling on the tracks and encourages motorists to treat the median, or neutral ground as an additional lane of traffic.
Safety is the number one priority of Veolia Transportation and the RTA. The goal of the campaign is to inform the citizens of the important role they can play in protecting themselves and the historic streetcars. While the streetcars are part of the gracious scenery of New Orleans, they are also large, powerful moving vehicles travelling in our neutral grounds and on our streets. Our community’s awareness of streetcars as a potentially dangerous vehicle is just too low and the outcome can be dangerous for residents who put themselves in harm’s way due to this lack of awareness and vigilance while sharing the roads with the streetcars. The RTA’s priority is to decrease streetcar accidents and save lives.
In an effort to meet this goal, the RTA’s safety campaign will message to citizens that Tracks Can Kill (so you should) Live Outside the Lines. It’s a bold and direct message but it’s one that the RTA believes is necessary to dramatically increase awareness and save lives. The campaign will also encourage citizens to always look both ways before crossing the track, look left before making left hand turns when driving along the rail lines, never walk, run, sit or play on the tracks, keep children close while near tracks, and use good judgment and remain alert when near rail lines.
This is an excellent opportunity to engage and educate the public about rail safety and should result in even greater declines in the number of incidents that occur each year. The agency is committed to the safety of all its’ employees, riders, and the citizens we share the roads with and will continue to launch innovative and creative campaigns to better educate the community.
The RTA is partnering with businesses, organizations, schools, universities and neighborhood associations that are located near streetcar lines to deliver this message.
For more information about the Tracks Can Kill: Live Outside the Lines campaign, please call (504) 304-8198.