Published on : Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Union Pacific Railroad has awarded 21 grants to community-owned railroad safety initiatives across its 23-state operating system. Ranging from $500 to $5,000, the grants support initiatives developed by community organizations to enhance and promote railroad safety through activities tailored for their communities.
“Union Pacific developed the grant program to empower communities to be active railroad safety participants,” said Bob Grimaila, vice president of Safety, Security and Environment at Union Pacific. “These organizations have taken the initiative to embrace railroad safety and care enough to ensure fellow community members understand how to be safe around railroad tracks.”
Organizations and initiatives receiving Union Pacific safety grant funding include:
Cary Police Department, Cary, Ill., for commuter station railroad safety blitzes, rail safety education presentations to schools and businesses, and enforcement patrols.
Crystal Lake Police Department, Crystal Lake, Ill., for enforcement and educational outreach.
“Eye of the Tiger,” Roseville High School newspaper, Roseville, Calif., for rail safety media including in-school television public service announcements (PSAs) and printing for additional student newspaper pages containing rail safety ads. The school also is planning a rail safety school assembly and rail safety pledge week.
Elmhurst Police Department, Elmhurst, Ill., for enforcement activities and educational safety blitzes at commuter stations.
Houston Parks Board, Houston, Texas, for a railroad safety education element at the annual back to school fest for underprivileged area youth.
The City of Kuna, Idaho, for rail safety signage in a community park, railroad safety materials distributed via the community schools’ website and a community coloring contest.
Lake Hallie Police Department, Lake Hallie, Wis., for rail safety enforcement activities and education programs targeting community businesses.
Newcastle Fire Protection District, Newcastle, Calif., for rail safety signage at town entrances, rail safety fliers for distribution to businesses and permanent rail safety signage in community schools.
New Braunfels Fire Department, New Braunfels, Texas, for railroad public safety announcements (PSAs) featuring local landmarks.
Palatine Police Department, Palatine, Ill., for driver and pedestrian education, and rail safety enforcement and educational outreach at grade crossings and commuter stations.
Parsons Police Department, Parsons, Kan., for enforcement patrols and rail safety-focused community outreach.
Point2Point Solutions-Smart Trips, Eugene, Ore., for bicyclist education focused on safely cycling across railroad tracks.
Redding Police Department, Redding, Calif., for rail safety enforcement activities and educational outreach.
South Chicago Heights Police Department, South Chicago, Ill., for educational and enforcement initiatives including grade crossing blitzes, community outreach and presentations at community meetings.
Southern Arizona Transportation Museum, Tucson, Ariz., for a multi-agency rail safety effort targeting area pedestrians near the University of Arizona campus.
Sumner Police Department, Sumner, Wash., for educational outreach and enforcement initiatives.
Topeka Rescue Mission, Topeka, Kan., to support the “Operation Safe TraX” initiative in raising awareness of railroad safety through advertising, print materials and outreach efforts.
Van Buren Chamber, Van Buren, Ark., for public safety announcements (PSAs) to run in a local movie theater.
Village of Villa Park, Villa Park, Ill., for grade level-appropriate rail safety school curriculum, and funding to develop community-specific public safety announcements (PSAs) to play in schools and throughout the community.
Waukegan Police Department, Waukegan, Ill., for educational outreach and enforcement initiatives.
West Chicago Police Department, West Chicago, Ill., for rail safety community education, enforcement initiatives and outreach at community festivals.
The grant program is part of the UP CARES public safety initiative that promotes pedestrian and driver safety through a variety of outreach channels:
Grade crossing education and enforcement, during which motorists violating rail crossing signage and laws are educated about the dangers of such actions. Related “positive enforcement” initiatives reward drivers who operate safely at grade crossings.
Safety trains, hosting local law enforcement, media and public officials and providing them the opportunity to ride in the locomotive cab and see traffic violations from a locomotive engineer’s point of view. This also allows Union Pacific to connect with community leaders and help them better understand the railroad’s safety focus.
Communication efforts, which educate the public via community events, media outreach and paid advertising. Media outreach coincides with safety trains in UP communities.
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