Sound Transit Ramps Up Safety Campaign

We’ve caught wind from the Slog that Sound Transit has released a PSA warning folks to be cautious around light rail. It’s a surprisingly creepy ad, which must be the point. Quite a different tone than Zap Gridlock!


Students at Rainer Beach High School have gone a different route, and offer up a more fun take on light rail safety:

And the Seattle Times is hard at work, penning up a short piece about Link safety education in the Rainer Valley.


  1. says

    I’ll take “creepy” over “fun” any day – the first loss of life (and it will come, unfortunately) will come – and it won’t be “fun” at all.

    Folks in these neighborhoods that have been waiting the longest for light rail need to take the presence of these machines seriously.

  2. Andy says

    Haha the high school one is hilarious.

    But seriously, anyone who gets “injured” because of a light rail train, i’m going to go find them and laugh at them. It’s pretty much common sense to look both ways when crossing a street, if or if there isn’t a train. I may be an open-minded person, but the idea of crashing into a light rail train or being hit by one just blows my mind.

    • EvergreenRailfan says

      I sometimes look both ways even on some of the disconnected indusstrial tracks in SODO, as well as the ones still connected to a spur that might see one train a day if that.

  3. says

    These public safety campaigns are very important. I wish there were more safety ads for car drivers.

    This is not simply a matter of time to get used to the train, even after 20 years in Portland there are “Stay Alive” signs about how MAX takes several blocks to stop. They are targeted at teens because they are the ones most likely to try crazy stunts.

  4. RK says

    This is good, but I’m afraid it will take more actual examples before people will start to learn the lesson. I think the problem will especially be with the teenagers who think they can “beat the train.” And a lot of j-walkers don’t even care if they can beat a car or not, because they know that a car will slow down not to hit them if they have enough warning. This mentality will be quite dangerous if people apply it to train crossings.

    Of course, people get hit by cars all the time, whether they are pedestrians, bicyclists, or other drivers. At least with the trains, the people getting hit will always be at fault, and thus others can learn from their example and change their behavior (unlike, say, when people get run down by cars at crosswalks). I think the bigger concern over the at-grade section should be derailing.

  5. Zach says

    My suggestion would be to have a stillshot of a 1962 Ford Fairlane stall on the tracks, and at the last minute Mary Haugen jumps out, screaming, arms waving emphatically, as she runs to safety behind and out of view of the camera. Once she disappears from screen, a full-length ST train at top speed plows right into the Fairlane, which bursts into a 1,000 pieces.

    Never leaving the one shot, the last moments on film show a hub cap rolling in ever-tightening concentric circles, and a somber, deep male voice intones “Please remember to look both ways before crossing ST’s new rail lines”, which is punctuated by a loud “PING!” from a single bolt dropping from the sky.

  6. K says

    I still think there should be a short 3 foot fence or barrier running the length of the tracks where the train runs at grade, except for a handful of emergency turn-around points. I really think it would deter a lot of j-walkers and help prevent some unfortunate accidents.

    • Matt says

      Don’t they not put those in because people will try to jump them and end up getting stuck on one side of it when the train is coming? There’s always people sandwiched up against the jersey barrier on Aurora.

    • jcdk says

      Increases the chances of people tripping on the fence as they try make it a cross before a train. I don’t think a fence is a good idea at all.

    • Erik says

      IIRC, the Ranier Valley Community was very set against a fence. Heck, they were against the surface alignment as we all know.*

      One of the things that Ranier Valley leaders pointed out was the hinderence a surface route would cause for emergency vehicles, especially emergency vehicles wanting to make a U-turn or needing to cross MLK at intersections not then controlled by traffic signals, but possible to do when travelling in a big red truck sirens and flashing lights (after a pause at MLK of course).

      Thus I think that the right-of-way on MLK has been constructed so that an authorized vehicle (police, fire, aid car) could drive across the tracks at many places that an unauthorized vehicle (You and me) would not be allowed by law.

      I even think we might see emergency vehicles enroute to a call using the tracks as an extra lane to get around congestion assuming a train is nowhere nearby; but I wouldn’t want to be riding in the back of an aid car/ambulance when it did so.

      See this photo (and read the comments!):

      *If they had built the tunnel, with tunnel stations, imagine how much worse the racist comments about Link running via RV would be! “Scary dark stations”, etc.

  7. Mike B says

    Am I the only one bothered by the trains red tail lights on the first video? Could have at least turned on the headlights for realism.

    Train geek aside, the first video is good. This isn’t something to be joked with. Trains are serious business. Really drives the point home. Look Listen Live

  8. says

    It’s not going to be the kids who are trying to beat the train where they close calls are going to occur. It’s going to be the kids who can’t hear anything because they are listening to ipods, and have their hoody pulled up over their head, so they don’t have good peripheral vision, and they are off in their own little world.

    • John Jensen says

      I think they alluded to that in the ad when they showed the girls listening to music and texting and such.

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