On September 21st, Mayor Ray McAllister of Vincent, Mayor Larry Riggins of Westover, and Mayor Don Green of Harpersville joined together to sign a proclamation at Vincent Middle High School for Railroad Safety Week to take place next week.
Operation Lifesaver felt it was important for students to come together to spread awareness and for them to witness such a historical event of the three mayors coming together for the sake of the safety of their communities.
“The mayors are showing an awesome example of how communities should come together for the sake of the safety of their community,” said Sheriee Bowman, CSX Community Affairs and Safety Manager at Operation Lifesaver.
Railroad Safety Week will take place during VMHS’s homecoming week. The school’s Jacket Leadership Squad and the Railroad Ambassadors plan to help spread the word on why it is important to be cautious on our railroads for during the week and will pass out information and goodies at the homecoming game.
“We will have tents set up and plan to pass out things like brochures and bracelets at the game,” Ella Fields, a sixth grader at VNMH, said. “I think it is important for everyone to be alert and cautious when it comes to railroads.”
Nancy Hudson, Alabama Executive Director of Operation Lifesaver, told those gathered at the proclamation signing event that the state of Alabama is ranked eighth in the nation for train fatalities, ninth for train/car crashes, and 14th for trespassing on tracks. Bowman added that CSX has approximately 30 trains running through the Shelby County each day.
Hudson and Bowman both hope that by getting the students involved, they will encourage their peers to make wise decisions when it comes to railroads and to be safe on the road once they start driving.
“The goal is to save lives,” said Hudson. “Whenever we can get the community to come together, it is so helpful.”