Mail track

Stop Track Tragedies September is Rail Safety Month “Tracks are for Trains”

NCTD Sprinter train
A Sprinter train operated by the North County Transit District. Photo courtesy NCTD

Every three hours in the United States, a person or vehicle is hit by a train. With 63 miles of track included in its operation, North County Transit District and its rail service partners encourage everyone to keep rail safety first.

During Rail Safety Month of September, NCTD reminds pedestrians and motorists to stop track tragedies by heeding warning signals and to use only designated crossings.

Taking a shortcut near train tracks can hurt you, taking a selfie can cost you your life. These short videos from Operation Lifesaver, Inc. are a stark reminder of the importance of rail safety.

In 2021, California ranked second in the nation for the number of crossing collisions with 169. Of those collisions, there were 35 fatalities and 37 injuries. In the category of pedestrian victims of railway trespassing (deaths + injuries), California ranked first, 242 victims resulting in 141 deaths and 101 injuries.

To reduce these tragedies, state lawmakers passed a bill in 2009 that designated September as “Railway Safety Month.” Every year, passenger and freight rail operators remind pedestrians and motorists to exercise caution around the tracks.

“We ask the public to take the time to learn the facts about rail safety and make good decisions,” said NCTD Board Chair Jewel Edson, a member of the Solana Beach City Council. “Share rail safety information so that together we can stop railroad tragedies.”

NCTD views safety as one of its core values ​​in providing and operating transit services throughout its service area. The NCTD Board of Directors passed a resolution at their July Board Meeting declaring September Rail Safety Month. Through public outreach, NCTD will continue to promote safety awareness and education near and at its railway crossings and rights-of-way to members of the communities it serves.

For more rail safety information, visit or follow NCTD on Twitter @GoNCTD.