Many parents not worried about train safety, report finds

  • An eastbound Union Pacific train approaches the Elmhurst station moments before the arrival of a Metra westbound commuter train. A new report finds many parents overlook trains when teaching their kids about safety.

      An eastbound Union Pacific train approaches the Elmhurst station moments before the arrival of a Metra westbound commuter train. A new report finds many parents overlook trains when teaching their kids about safety. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Union Pacific Railroad offers a rare look at what engineers see from the cab of a UP Metra train Friday as part of a National Rail Safety Week event in Elmhurst.

      Union Pacific Railroad offers a rare look at what engineers see from the cab of a UP Metra train Friday as part of a National Rail Safety Week event in Elmhurst. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • A UP Metra train approaches President Street in Wheaton as Union Pacific offers a rare look at what engineers see from the cab of a UP Metra train Friday as part of a National Rail Safety Week event in Elmhurst.

      A UP Metra train approaches President Street in Wheaton as Union Pacific offers a rare look at what engineers see from the cab of a UP Metra train Friday as part of a National Rail Safety Week event in Elmhurst. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Union Pacific engineer Gregory Grayer is at the throttle of a Metra train rolling westbound at 64 mph on the Union Pacific West Line. He shared his cab as part of a train safety event Friday.

      Union Pacific engineer Gregory Grayer is at the throttle of a Metra train rolling westbound at 64 mph on the Union Pacific West Line. He shared his cab as part of a train safety event Friday. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • During a news conference where Union Pacific and Metra stressed safety around the tracks, DuPage Railroad Safety Council Chairman Lanny Wilson speaks about the day in 1994 when his son and daughter were struck by a train in Hinsdale. His son survived but was severely injured; his daughter died. The National Transportation Safety Board's Jennifer Homendy, listens.

      During a news conference where Union Pacific and Metra stressed safety around the tracks, DuPage Railroad Safety Council Chairman Lanny Wilson speaks about the day in 1994 when his son and daughter were struck by a train in Hinsdale. His son survived but was severely injured; his daughter died. The National Transportation Safety Board's Jennifer Homendy, listens. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

 
 
Posted9/30/2019 5:30 AM

At an event in Elmhurst Friday marking National Rail Safety Week, experts urged parents to talk to kids about the dangers trains pose and how to stay safe.

A child or teenager in the U.S. is killed every five days in a train collision, National Transportation Safety Board, Metra and DuPage Railroad Safety Council officials said.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

At greatest risk are teens ages 15 to 19, and boys are three times more likely to be hit by a train than girls, a report by Safe Kids Worldwide found. The time most children are hurt occurs after school dismissal.

Yet less than half of parents surveyed had warned their children about train hazards, the report noted.

With so many railways crisscrossing the city and suburbs, "teaching children about rail safety should go hand-in-hand with educating them about how to look both ways before crossing the street," Union Pacific executive Liisa Stark said.

Easy tips children will understand include:

• Only cross the tracks at a designated crossing that has a sign, lights and gates.

• Never walk along the tracks.

• Wait until gates are up, lights have stopped flashing and bells have stopped ringing before entering a crossing.

• Always look for a train while at a crossing. Put away your device, phone or headphones when walking across.

To learn more, go to Safe Kids Worldwide.

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