Philly SEPTA accidents on the rise. New ads focus on the power of trains and how people and vehicles do not stand a chance against a collision with a train.
It’s not a matter of if an accident will happen, but when- and the number of accidents is on the rise. According to Philly.com, railroads are launching a new campaign to highlight the dangers of being near train tracks after a rise in rail deaths last year. This should not come to a surprise to Philadelphians. On Monday we reported that a 20 year old male was killed by a SEPTA train, while walking on a track. This is just one of several Philly SEPTA accidents we have reported on in the last year.
2013 was a very different year for railroads. Last year at this time, 2012 was documented as the railroad industry’s safest year, with the decline of derailments and crossing accidents. In 2014, the number of trespassing deaths rose by 47, or 11 percent in 2013, to 476, and the number of deaths in accidents increased nearly 8 percent to 250.
Rates change each year and Josh Funk of the Associated Press stated there are only theories to explain last year’s increase. Federal regulators are developing a public campaign aimed at reducing Philly SEPTA accidents. On Tuesday, new ads focus on the power of trains, and how people and vehicles do not stand a chance against a collision with a train.
“We need to make sure people understand the danger they’re putting themselves in on the rails,” said Joyce Rose, CEO of Operation Lifesaver, a nonprofit dedicated to educating people about railroad hazards. It’s difficult to determine what was behind the death increase in 2013, but Rose believes it may be related to smartphones and other electronic devices. “We’re a distracted population.” The informative TV advertisements for the new campaign, dubbed “See Tracks? Think Train,” shows several different scenarios, including a young man walking on railroad tracks while wearing headphones and not realizing a train is coming.
A 20 year old man was walking on the train tracks to meet a friend at a local Wawa in one of the Philly SEPTA accidents we reported on this year. The direction he was walking did not allow him to see oncoming trains. He was also texting while walking to the Wawa, and was struck and pronounced dead at the scene. We are sure his family wish this campaign started a day sooner. The father of the young man said that he cannot get out of his mind the image of what happened to his son. “It was killing me just thinking about it. I was lying in the bed all night, staring at the ceiling, just trying to picture him getting hit.” Police hope this case will shed light to those in Philadelphia of the dangers of walking by train tracks and distracted texting.