California Department of Transportation

California Department of Transportation

Date: August 30, 2013
District: Headquarters
Contact: Tracy Williams
Phone: (310) 824-9000


September is Rail Safety Month in California

SACRAMENTO – Caltrans and Amtrak will use Rail Safety Month in September as a kickoff to their year-long “Be Track Smart” rail safety campaign, which offers facts and safety tips to reduce deaths and injuries near railroad crossings and tracks.

“Our goal is to educate Californians to potential dangers and get them to change their behavior around train tracks,” said Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty.

Through Caltrans’ support of Operation Lifesaver, free educational programs are available for community organizations, schools, and businesses to alert Californians to the life-threatening dangers of trespassing on railroad tracks, as well as associated fines and penalties for not obeying the laws.

California rail safety and the law:

  • Cross tracks only at designated pedestrian or roadway crossings. Violating warning signs and signals is a misdemeanor that can result in steep fines, a moving violation, a point on your driving record, and increased insurance rates. (Fines and punishments are set by each county.)
  • Remember to look both ways when crossing railroad tracks. If you see a train coming, don’t try to beat it. It can take a train up to a mile to stop.  
  • Modern trains are quiet and can move forward or backward at any time without warning.
  • Never walk, bike, jog, or run down a train track. It is illegal and can result in significant fines and possible jail time. More importantly, it can lead to injury or death.

About Amtrak California
Under the Amtrak California banner, Caltrans funds three of the six busiest intercity passenger rail routes in the Amtrak system: the Pacific Surfliner® corridor (ranked second), the Capitol Corridor® (ranked third), and the San Joaquin corridor (ranked fifth). Caltrans manages both the Pacific Surfliner® and San Joaquin® corridors. The Capitol Corridor®, although funded by Caltrans, is managed by the Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority. Visit us at; join us on Facebook at or follow us on Twitter at

About Amtrak®
Amtrak is America’s Railroad®, the nation’s intercity passenger rail service and its high-speed rail operator. A record 31.2 million passengers traveled on Amtrak in FY 2012 on more than 300 daily trains – at speeds up to 150 mph (241 kph) – that connect 46 states, the District of Columbia and three Canadian Provinces. Amtrak operates intercity trains in partnership with 15 states and contracts with 13 commuter rail agencies to provide a variety of services. Enjoy the journey® at or call 800-USA-RAIL for schedules, fares and more information. Join us on and follow us at

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