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RTD launches rail safety effort to encourage riders to put down their phones, pay attention

Operators see four to five near misses a week
Posted at 6:42 PM, Sep 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-20 20:42:53-04

DENVER – The Regional Transportation Department (RTD) said operators are seeing 4-5 close calls per week at rail crossings across the metro, which is why it is launching a rail safety effort to encourage riders to pay attention and put down their phones.

"Being distracted is a big part of what we see as a potential for near misses," RTD Community Engagement Manager Christina Zazueta said.

RTD will participate in Rail Safety Week starting on Sept. 23 and will also partner with Amtrak to raise awareness.

"We'll be at different locations around our rail alignment just to promote and bring awareness to the fact that you should just be aware of your surroundings," Zazueta said.

Denver7 spent the morning at Denver's Central Park Station in Stapleton, where our cameras captured countless riders completely ignoring the warning bells and lights.

"When they hear the bells going, they see the warning lights going. They should be stopping and waiting for the trains to come through," Zazueta said.

However, we saw rider after rider ignore those warnings and rush across the tracks to catch the A-line train.

"Last minute dashes across, even those the lights are on, and the signals are on," Zazueta. "We see sometimes that folks follow each other through the crossing. Somebody made and they think we'll I can make it as well."