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Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority Serving Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties

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A Lesson in Respecting the Train

Heather Redfern
Public Information Manager

Since 2013, hundreds of SEPTA employees have spent a spring morning at rail, trolley and bus stations, loops and transportation centers across the Authority's service area to distribute educational materials as part of SEPTA's Safety Day program. This year, SEPTA enlisted the help of some special people - students at Conshohocken's AIM Academy - to tell the public what it means to "Respect the Train."

"When we give safety presentations at schools, we find that children are very responsive to our messages - they understand the importance of staying away from the tracks," said Scott Sauer, SEPTA Assistant General Manager of System Safety.

AIM Academy is located directly across from Miquon Station on the Manayunk/Norristown Line. SEPTA asked the students to draw posters of what train safety means to them. "The AIM students did a great job conveying why you shouldn't trespass, stand too close to the edge of the platform or ignore grade crossings," said Sauer. "Adults can learn from listening to the kids."

"Train safety means life," said Otelia, who co-designed her poster with third grade classmate Briana. "I just don't want anyone to get hurt,"added second grader Drew.

Seven student designs created by the AIM second, third and sixth graders will be featured on car cards on SEPTA buses, in a video on Silverliner V trains at Center City Regional Rail Stations and on the Authority's website. The drawings feature a variety of safety tips, including standing behind the yellow platform lines, not texting in front of the trains and not parking on train tracks. "You should always follow the train signs for your safety," said third grader Max.

SEPTA recognized the student artists at an assembly at AIM Academy on May 16, the day prior to system-wide Safety Day. Sauer received a big green helping hand from the Phillie Phanatic - who is the star of another SEPTA Safety video - in presenting awards to the children.

The Authority's fifth annual Safety Day culminated with a May 17 press conference at Primos Station on the Media/Elwyn Line. SEPTA General Manager Jeffrey Knueppel and Board Safety Committee Chair Mike Vereb joined Sauer to reiterate the message of respecting the train.

"As often as we talk about the importance of being safe and staying safe in and around the SEPTA system, conduct safety blitzes at our stations or make brochures, car cards and videos available to our customers and neighbors, we continue to experience heartbreaking and sometimes tragic situations when safety takes second place," said Knueppel. "Our goal with the 'Make the Safe Choice' program is that every day becomes safety day for SEPTA customers and neighbors."

Knueppel asked SEPTA customers to read and then pass along the safety materials they received at their stations. "You might just share information that will save a life."


Assistant GM of System Safety Scott Sauer and the Phillie Phanatic reviewed train safety tips with the AIM Academy students at an assembly on May 16.



The Phanatic helped recognize the award-winning AIM artists.



(From left) Sauer, SEPTA GM Jeffrey Knueppel and Board Safety Committee Chair Mike Vereb addressed the importance of respecting trains at the Safety Day press conference at Primos Station.



Look for the "Respect the Train" wrapped bus traveling throughout the Greater Philadelphia region.