TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – From September 21-27, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is joining other DOTs and organizations nationwide to recognize Rail Safety Week and reminding Floridians to be safe on or near rail crossings. In addition, through its Operation STRIDE, FDOT continues its rail safety efforts across the state. FDOT will use Rail Safety Week as another opportunity to inform Floridians on how to safely navigate all rail crossings and highlight how a Dynamic Envelope provides a visual reminder of where to safely stop when approaching a rail crossing.
“Safety is at the core of everything we do here at the department,” said Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Kevin J. Thibault, P.E. “In December, we set out to create a new standard for rail safety in the state with Operation STRIDE. In just 10 months, FDOT has made significant progress in the implementation of this initiative, which will have a substantial impact on increasing rail safety awareness and preventing tragedies on or near rail crossings statewide.”
Operation STRIDE (Statewide Traffic and Railroad Initiative using Dynamic Envelopes) was established by FDOT in December 2019 and includes engineering countermeasures, education, and enforcement efforts to provide a comprehensive strategy to prevent fatalities. A Dynamic Envelope is an area near railroad crossings designed to keep motorists out of the danger zone. White connecting X’s are used to visually highlight the zone at railroad crossings that drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians should not stop to increase safety for motorists.
Over the past 10 months, more than 75 percent of the dynamic envelopes at crossings under the department’s purview have either been completed or are in the process of being installed. Since the beginning of Operation STRIDE, the department has preliminarily seen a reduction in rail crossing incidents across the state and will continue to monitor efficacy of the countermeasure as the data begins to normalize.
The department continues to partner with local and private rail partners by sharing the FDOT rail safety design standards and framework and encouraging their participation and implementation of the safety and engineering efforts across the state. In addition, the department has launched robust community outreach efforts within each FDOT district as well as social and paid media efforts. FDOT will also continue to partner with state and local law enforcement agencies to help enforce rail safety laws.
Throughout this week, FDOT will be highlighting Operation STRIDE progress throughout the state and raising awareness on its social media channels. Be sure to follow along on Facebook at @FLDOT, on Instagram at @my_fdot and Twitter at @MyFDOT. In addition, FDOT has several resources on its dedicated Operation STRIDE webpage including safety tips, videos, photos of completed Dynamic Envelopes, and social media posts. For media opportunities to learn more about Operation STRIDE and its implementation throughout the state, please contact the Public Information Officer in your district, which can be found here.
Contact: Beth Frady