Published On: Wed, Sep 23rd, 2020

Board of County Commissioners Joins SFRTA and Brightline in Recognizing Rail Safety Week

Rail Safety Week 2020 is being observed Sept. 21-27 across North America with stakeholders in the United States, Canada and Mexico focusing on safety actions around railroad property.  

Operation Lifesaver Inc. (OLI), Operation Lifesaver Canada and the Mexican Association of Railroads are leading this year’s observance. The week is designed to raise awareness of safe actions around rail crossings and railroad rights-of-way and to empower the general public to keep themselves safe when around rail property.

Typically, the week contains multiple in-person outreach efforts, safety blitzes and other campaigns, but the COVID-19 pandemic has shifted the week’s activities to focus on social media and virtual outreach.

OLI reports there are 2,100 North Americans who are injured or killed annually in railway crossing and trespassing incidents; these are largely preventable events and Rail Safety Week is designed to do just that.

“The [U.S. Department of Transportation] is committed to working with communities, as well as domestic and international partners, to improve pedestrian and vehicle safety near railroads,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao.

“Rail Safety Week raises awareness of the need for caution near railroad crossings and train tracks. We appreciate the support of Secretary Chao, the U.S. Department of Transportation and all our Rail Safety Week partners,” said Operation Lifesaver Executive Director Rachel Maleh.

Rail Safety Week began in 2017 and has grown in exposure and added new community partners every year.

Steven Abrams and Robert Weinroth

Themes of this year’s campaign include partnerships with law enforcement, crossing safety, transit safety, trespass prevention and others.

In conjunction with Rail Safety Week, on behalf of Palm Beach County Mayor Dave Kerner and the Board of County Commissioners, it was my honor to deliver a proclamation at the Tri-Rail station in Boca Raton, declaring September 21-27 2020 RAIL SAFETY WEEK IN SOUTH FLORIDA.

I was joined by former PBC Commissioner and current SFRTA Executive Director, Steven L. Abrams, Council Member Andy Thomson (representing Mayor Scott Singer and the Boca Raton City Council) and Brightline’s Chief of Staff, Ali Soule.

L-R: Steven Abrams, Robert Weinroth, Ali Soule and Andy Thomson

Rail Safety is critical to ensuring a vibrant public transportation system and on which many of our residents and visitors depend. 

In 2019, 38 people perished from rail transportation incidents on the tracks and 24 died from grade crossing accidents in the State of Florida. In response, Tri-Rail and Brightline are dedicated to saving lives by actively educating the public about train safety and have made significant strides to address this problem with enhanced signage and better safety systems at crossings.

Drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists to be cautious around transportation be and obey crossing signals, never trespass on train tracks, cross only in designated areas and avoid distractions, and be mindful that trains can come anytime, from either direction.

About the Author

- Robert Weinroth is a 27 year resident of Boca Raton where he is an attorney, businessman, former member of the City Council (where he served for four years) and currently serves as an elected member of the Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners. Commissioner Weinroth went to Boston’s Northeastern University where he earned a BSBA in Management. He went on to earn his Juris Doctor at New England School of Law. He is admitted to practice law in Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey and the Supreme Court of the United States. Weinroth served as president and general counsel of Freedom Medical Services Inc, an accredited medical supply company in Boca Raton. FREEDOMED® represented the realization of an entrepreneurial dream. Weinroth, and his wife Pamela operated the company for 16 years, eventually selling the business in 2016. Weinroth takes great pride in his past work as a volunteer Guardian ad Litem for the 15th Judicial Circuit, advocating for the needs of abused and neglected children deemed dependent by the Court. After serving on multiple community boards and committees, Weinroth was elected to the Boca Raton City Council in 2014. During his tenure, he served as CRA Vice-chair and Deputy Mayor and was appointed to a number of county boards including the Boca Raton Airport Authority, the Palm Tran Service Board, the Palm Beach Transportation Planning Agency, the Treasure Coast Planning Council and was elected a board member of the Palm Beach County League of Cities. Commissioner Weinroth serves as County Vice-Mayor and has been appointed Chair of the Solid Waste Authority, a board member of the PBC Transportation Planning Agency, and alternate representative on the Treasure Coast Planning Agency and several other county and regional boards. Robert, Pamela and their two dogs, Sierra and Siggy, are proud to call Boca Raton home.

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