The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has launched the “Stop! Trains Can’t” campaign aimed at young male motorists to make the right choice at railroad crossings.
The campaign is the latest in a two-year effort by DOT to reduce accidents, and ultimately fatalities, at railroad crossings around the country. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) have partnered on the nationwide effort.
Although rail incidents have declined over the last 10 years, railroad crossing fatalities spiked in 2014. Last year alone, 232 people died in railroad crossing accidents, and approximately every three hours, a person or vehicle is hit by a train in the United States.
The $7-million media buy will target males ages 18 to 49-years-old in states where the nation’s 15 most dangerous crossings are located, as well as the states that had 75 percent of the crossing accidents that occurred in 2015. The ad will run in the following states: California, Illinois, Texas, Louisiana, Indiana, Ohio, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, Alabama, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Mississippi, New Jersey, Arkansas, and Arizona.
By law, trains always have the right of way because they cannot swerve, stop quickly or change directions to avert collisions. A freight train traveling at 55 mph takes a mile—the length of 18 football fields or more— to come to a stop even with the emergency brake applied.