Talking rail safety with professional truck driver Jerome Young

Operation Lifesaver has embarked upon a series of interviews with railway employees, professional truck drivers, families and survivors all of whom know all too well the importance of spreading the word on rail safety. This week’s post is focused on the importance of rail safety for professional truck drivers.Jerry Young To get the scoop on what truckers can do to stay alive when they encounter train tracks, we caught up with professional truck driver, Jerome Young. A full-time company driver for Challenger Motor Freight in Cambridge (CMF) for the past seven years, Jerome has over 16 years experience in the professional trucking industry and is an avid rail safety supporter.

Why do you think working with Operation Lifesaver and spreading the message of rail safety is important?

Safety in general is a part of our everyday routine as professional drivers. Operation Lifesaver is an enhancement to our existing safety knowledgebase. As the two components of the ground transportation industry, rail and road need to maintain a consistent safety message to the public. Although there is a certain level of competition between the two entities the results from a catastrophic event are the same.  This needs to be better understood with a message of solidarity.

What are your Top 5 rail safety tips/best practices for professional long-haul truckers?

  1. Patience. No matter if you are paid by the hour, the mile or are late for a delivery, coming home dead is almost always your only alternative. NOTHING is more important in the truck than your life.
  1. Watch, Listen and OBEY all rail crossing signs and remember safety is your first concern. We all want to go home at the end of the day, including the rail workers.
  1. Report any obvious dangers or obstacles to local police. Report, the incident to your operations and safety departments as this experience can be a learning tool for future reference.
  1. Recommend. If there is NO training in place specifically aimed toward rail safety, recommend they start including it in future orientation classes as well as an additional safety topic for ongoing refresher training to existing drivers.
  1. Communicate with your fellow drivers, and drivers from other companies you come into contact with. Help identify and prepare for any noted areas of concern that you feel they may need to be more diligent around. Watch for blind corners and heavily treed areas that reduce the visibility of upcoming crossings, and remember they can change seasonally. One location may have low visibility in the summer, but in the fall the visibility increases and then reduces again in the winter months with snow fall accumulation, etc.
Want to read more real life rail safety stories? Check these out: