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Operation Lifesaver Inc. (OLI) announced this week that $175,000 in grants will be distributed to 11 state Operation Lifesaver programs that promote public safety at highway-rail grade crossings.The grants, funded by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), will be used to promote safety education projects in conjunction with OLI's ongoing, "See Tracks? Think Train!" public awareness campaign. The grants will be awarded to Operation Lifesaver organizations in California, Georgia, Idaho, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee and Utah. These state programs will use the funding to spread "See Tracks? Think Train!" safety messages via television, radio, billboard, digital and magazine ads as well as events, according to an OLI press release.Target audiences for the ads include students, agricultural sectors, outdoor enthusiasts, professional drivers, Spanish-speaking populations and the news media to raise awareness about the dangers near tracks and trains."These grants can help make travel in areas where roads and rails cross safer for vehicles and pedestrians," said Federal Highway Administrator Gregory Nadeau.The FHWA-funded grant program is similar to one funded by the Federal Railroad Administration and Federal Transit Administration.Meanwhile, Norfolk Southern Corp. is bringing its "Train Your Brain" public safety campaign to Indiana to encourage motorists to be "smart and safe" when crossing train tracks."Train Your Brain" safety messages will be promoted through radio, print and billboard advertisements, on gas pumps at convenience stores, and in short videos in movie theaters. To reach drivers 18-34, who statistically are among the most at-risk for highway-rail incidents, NS also is sponsoring "Train Your Brain" activities at the University of Notre Dame, Purdue University, and Ball State University athletic events, as well as at Gary South Shore RailCats baseball games."These important public safety messages will resonate clearly, as Indiana ranked fourth highest in the U.S. for vehicle-train collisions in 2015, with 118 incidents resulting in 51 deaths and injuries," said John Irwin, NS' assistant vice president for safety and environmental.NS' "Train Your Brain" campaign is in its 10th year. It has reached more than 7 million people through event appearances.
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