CSX Supports National Rail Safety Week, Partners With Baltimore Youth to Improve Rail Safety

Sep 29, 2017 5:35 PM ET

Communicating the critical importance of exercising caution around railroad tracks isn’t always an easy task – especially when you’re trying to reach teens and young adults. Beginning in 2014, CSX railroad decided to pursue an innovative, new approach to reach this target audience: communicating directly through their peers. CSX partnered with Wide Angle Youth Media, a Baltimore-based non-profit organization providing local youth with media education and mentorship, to help young adults develop media campaigns that communicate rail safety messaging to their peers: urban youth between the ages of 16 and 25.

This unique collaboration has offered students in high school the opportunity to not only develop their creative and media skills, but also to engage with their communities and lend their voice to the critical issue of rail safety, a topic that often does not receive the amount of attention it deserves. A person or vehicle is hit by a train about once every three hours in the U.S., according to Operation Lifesaver, Inc. (OLI), a national educational organization dedicated to rail-safety awareness. Through CSX’s partnership with Wide Angle Youth Media and a campaign called “Play It Safe,” the company has taken a targeted approach to reaching high schools students and 18- to 34-year-old males, the demographic most likely to be involved in crossing collisions or trespassing incidents.

As part of the first-ever National Rail Safety Week, September 24-30, 2017, CSX joined forces with other Class I railroads, the U.S. Department of Transportation, first responders and local law enforcement agencies across the country to directly reach drivers and pedestrians with life-saving information about how to safely cross railroad tracks. Across the 23-state CSX network, railroad representatives deployed to highway-rail crossings, schools and first responder agencies to deliver this information, and CSX debuted two compelling rail safety videos from Wide Angle Youth Media, including the “Chainsaw Guy” video.

Since the beginning of this partnership, Wide Angle Youth Media students and CSX have collaborated on all aspects of the development of related media campaigns creating several videos and posters that advocate for urban rail safety. This material has been used in school presentations, distributed to local schools for display, promoted online through digital and social media, and featured on local television stations.

For a behind-the-scenes look at CSX’s partnership with Wide Angle Youth Media and students’ personal videomaking experiences, check out “CSX and Wide Angle Youth Media Safety Partnership” video.

To learn more about rail safety and CSX’s participation in Rail Safety Week, please visit https://www.csx.com/index.cfm/responsibility/rail-safety-week/