As part of its continuing effort to increase safety, Caltrain is partnering with Fresh Takes to produce a series of rail safety videos targeting teens.
The innovative program kicked off this week at the Fresh Takes studio in Redwood City with a rail safety presentation to familiarize the teens with the railroad’s major safety concerns.
The video vignettes will debut at a film festival in the fall and be used throughout the year to educate people about the importance of safe behavior around railroads. The videos will be promoted via Caltrain’s posters, brochures, social media and website. Caltrain also is exploring other venues to air the videos, such as community movie nights and local schools.
The students will develop their ideas and produce story boards early in the week. Caltrain staff will accompany the students on photo shoots at selected stations. The remainder of the week will be taken up with editing the footage into short safety messages.
“The Fresh Takes Youth Leadership Crew, Reel Eyes, is excited about this opportunity,” said Sagesse Graham, programming and instruction director. “The crew, consisting of 10 youth from diverse backgrounds, is dedicated to making a difference in the world. This project is a perfect example of how we can hone in on skills around developing and delivering strong messages while producing shorts that ultimately improve the quality of life in our communities.”
The videos will feature common-sense safety messages such as never going around lowered crossing gates, crossing only at designated crossings and standing behind the yellow safety line on station platforms.
The program is funded in part by a grant from Operation Lifesaver Inc. (OLI). As an active member of the organization, Caltrain conducts rail safety presentations in the community throughout the year. Every September, which has been designated “Railroad Safety Month” by proclamation of the California Legislature, Caltrain spearheads a special rail safety campaign.
Over the years, Caltrain has conducted a number of safety campaigns including installing eye-catching banners at stations, posting signs with a crisis hotline number along the right of way, and mailing magnets with the railroad’s contact number to residents near the train tracks.
“We think that teens speaking to teens will give the rail safety message added credibility and creativity,” said Executive Officer of Public Affairs Mark Simon.