In a new information campaign, the CTA is reminding its rail riders about the dangers of trespassing on the tracks.
The campaign carries an important and simple message: “Stay Off the Tracks, It’s Not Worth Your Life.”
The campaign uses that tagline in a series of messages highlighting the dangers of activities such as trying to retrieve items dropped onto the tracks, standing too close to the edge of a platform, or trespassing along the railroad right of way.
Last year there were more than 300 reported incidents of people entering the tracks, also known as the rail right of way. And there were 11 deaths reported from riders on the tracks.
CTA officials say that people usually make a conscious decision to enter the tracks, for such reasons as retrieving a cellphone or dropped wallet. If you lose something on the track, don’t become a death statistic – inform a CTA station employee.
Not surprisingly, alcohol has been a factor in many incidents, according to both CTA and Chicago Police records. Very few of those reported incidents involve customers accidentally falling or tripping onto the tracks.
(My own personal fear is being nudged onto the tracks as I’m bent over getting something out of my briefcase.)
The CTA says new safety campaign car cards and posters will appear on rail cars and at rail stations throughout the CTA system starting this week, and will also be used on digital signs at stations. These key safety tips appear at www.transitchicago.com/safety:
- Stay off CTA tracks: There are moving trains as fast as 55 m.p.h. (and approach more quickly than you may realize) and 600-volt electrified rails.
- Stand well clear of the platform edge (and blue platform edging) until your train has come to a complete stop in the station.
- The platform is not a playground: Please don’t goof around, you could end up on the tracks.
- If you drop something, DON’T try to retrieve it yourself. An employee can help by holding trains and retrieving your phone or other items for you.
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