“Your Life Is Worth the Wait” is a public service railroad safety campaign by Union Pacific Railroad on YouTube, Facebook and Pandora.
The campaign reminds drivers and pedestrians to use caution when approaching railroad tracks. It also urges people to not take “selfies” on or around railroad tracks.
Two commercials were shot in and around Pevely, Missouri, last summer. The first PSA is titled "Curfew" and features a teenage boy racing to get his date home before curfew and trying to beat an oncoming train at a railroad crossing. A second ad, titled "Interview", depicts a woman contemplating driving around crossing gates so she can arrive on time at her job interview. In each scenario, drivers hit the brakes and stop just before the train continues through the crossing.
“On average in the United States, there’s one accident per day somewhere in the country at a railroad crossing,” said Thomas Lange, Chief Communications Officer, Union Pacific.
Lange says that, too often, drivers try to drive around crossing gates and drive right though the flashing lights. There are about 16,000 crossings with gates across the entire UP network. Lange says, on average, they have to replace every single gate in a course of a year due to people breaking them as they drive around the gate.
In terms of the weight ratio of a train versus a car, Lange compares it to a car running over a soda can. What that car does to the soda can is the same thing that happens when a train hits a vehicle.
When an accident occurs, not only is it tragic for the family, but it also deeply affects the train engineer.
“They can’t move the train, it’s on the tracks, it takes more than a mile for them to stop the train. It’s very traumatizing for the train crew to experience an accident themselves, they live with that vision for the rest of their lives,” Lange said.
In a second set of videos, Union Pacific uses animation to address pedestrian safety and the dangers of taking photos on railroad tracks. Lange urges everyone to pay close attention when approaching a crossing, “be safe, always look for a train, be careful and watch out for yourself.”
Since beginning the campaign in late summer, nearly 5 million people have viewed the PSA’s.