In coordination with the Riverside Unified School District, Operation Lifesaver and Southern California Rail Safety, BNSF Railway is sponsoring its first-ever Twitter contest to promote safe behavior around railroad tracks at the five public high schools (Arlington, King, North, Poly, and Ramona High Schools) in the City of Riverside.
“BNSF is pleased to support our local schools here in Riverside, while educating students and encouraging them to share messages about safety near railroad tracks,” said Lena Kent, director, public affairs. “We hope that students will learn from their peers to stay alert, obey signs and understand the danger of trying to beat trains and trespassing on railroad right of ways.”
“We commend BNSF on its commitment to safety in our community and proclaim September as Rail Safety Month in the City of Riverside,” noted Riverside Mayor Rusty Bailey, a former teacher in the Riverside Unified School District. “It’s imperative to reinforce this message to help keep students in Riverside safe as the new school year starts.”
Added Dr. David Hansen, Riverside Unified School District Superintendent, “We appreciate BNSF’s leadership on safety and support of our schools. I know how important it is to ensure our students stay safe around railroad tracks. We encourage our school community to participate to make this campaign a success.”
The safety campaign, which will run from Sept. 1 through Sept. 30 to coincide with back-to-school and Rail Safety Month, is focused on encouraging high school students, faculty and staff to tweet safety messages. The school with the most tweets promoting the campaign and earning extra credit points for other activities (such as pep rallies, safety booths, etc.) will be awarded a donation of $15,000, while all other participating schools will each receive $2,000. Prizes such as iPads, Kindle Fires, Sony PSPs or similar technology will also be awarded randomly to participants.
Students, school faculty and staff can participate by tweeting. The only requirement is to have a personal Twitter account. Safety messages could include, “Look, Listen and Live,” “Stay Off, Stay Away, Stay Alive,” “I pledge to stay safe around railroad tracks,” and “See Tracks? Think Train!” Each school will have a unique hashtag in order for their tweets to be counted.
The winning school will be announced in early October and the grand prize will be awarded to the school in a special awards presentation.