LIRR and Operation Lifesaver Launches Station Safety Campaign to Prevent Dangers from Persons Riding Wheeled Vehicles on Crowded Platforms

LIRR and Operation Lifesaver Launches Station Safety Campaign to Prevent Dangers from Persons Riding Wheeled Vehicles on Crowded Platforms


New York Operation Lifesaver, which is dedicated to rail safety education and is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its founding in 1972, launched today the Station Safety campaign to prevent dangers from persons riding wheeled vehicles such as scooters and bikes on crowded platforms. The project is a partnership between New York Operation Lifesaver (NYOL) and the LIRR.

In 2020-21, LIRR saw a tripling of platform incidents per rider.

New York Operation Lifesaver is a non-profit public safety education and awareness organization dedicated to reducing collisions, fatalities and injuries on station platforms and at highway-rail crossings and preventing trespassing on or near railroad tracks.

The campaign will deploy “No skateboarding, bicycle riding, roller blading or scooter riding signs” that state: Riding personal wheeled vehicles on platforms and through stations puts yourself, and other people at risk and through stations puts yourself, and other people at risk. The only thing you should be riding inside a railroad station is a train!”

New York Operation Lifesaver and the Long Island Railroad TRACKS Safety Program provide free train safety presentations for schools, community groups, first responders, professional drivers and others. You may have seen New York Operation Lifesaver volunteers at train shows and community events. Over its first 50 years, Operation Lifesaver has helped reduce train collisions and fatalities by over 80%.

The Station Safety campaign, like the Phones Can Wait project before it, will deploy geofence advertising to target its safety messaging, with station-based digital and print advertising, and in-person events, reinforcing the messaging. Geofence advertising will push a Public Service Announcement (PSA) and digital banner advertising on the dangers of cell phone use, and other distracted driving behaviors, to drivers moving through selected LIRR at-grade crossings. Print and digital advertising at LIRR stations will mirror the messaging.

“New York Operation Lifesaver is proud to work with the Long Island Railroad on curbing the use of unauthorized wheeled vehicles on platforms. This problem not only affects LIRR platforms, but it is also seen in cities across America. I understand that bikes, electric bikes and scooters are very convenient for commuters. But riding scooters, bikes of any kind, and even skateboards on platforms can lead to injury or worse. The combination of a crowded platform and someone riding an ebike mere feet from trains traveling on electrified tracks, can so easily lead to a tragedy. Our Station Safety campaign, like Operation LIfesavers #StopTrackTragedies campaign, asks everyone using railroads to do their part to ensure that everyone arrives safely,” said Phil Merens, State Coordinator for New York Operation Lifesaver.

“Customer safety is LIRR’s highest priority, and the work that Operation Lifesaver does is key in creating the safest possible experience for our riders,” said LIRR Interim President and Metro-North Railroad President Catherine Rinaldi. “Riding a skateboard, bicycle or scooter on an LIRR platform is incredibly dangerous and puts both the rider and other passengers at risk.”

Events scheduled at LIRR locations will reiterate the message to commuters. The campaign will include English and Spanish PSAs. While campaign PSAs may include other distracted driving behaviors, messaging on platforms and trains will be very targeted to drive home the main message. In addition, the campaign will employ in-person events to convey the safety messaging.