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RTD VOWS TO GET TOUGH ON BLUE LINE SAFETY VIOLATORS; LAUNCHES NEW RAIL PUBLIC EDUCATION CAMPAIGN

 RTD VOWS TO GET TOUGH ON BLUE LINE SAFETY VIOLATORS;
 LAUNCHES NEW RAIL PUBLIC EDUCATION CAMPAIGN
 LOS ANGELES, Jan. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- RTD Board President Marvin Holen Jan. 27 vowed that the RTD would do everything in its power to prosecute motorists and pedestrians who drive or walk around Blue Line safety gates.
 "It may sound cruel, but we are going to do everything we can to protect our riders and our employees from people who deliberately ignore the safety systems on the Blue Line," Holen said. "If you play chicken with a train, we will see you in jail."
 Holen also announced that the RTD was launching a bilingual safety campaign with participation of local merchants.
 "We take safety precautions very seriously for Blue Line patrons and the public in general," Holen continued.
 "Drivers need to be alert for rail vehicle warning signs and signals to make left-hand turns safely, particularly along Washington and Long Beach boulevards. That's equally important as observing the rail crossing safety gates up and down the Blue Line corrider," Holen said.
 In the first phase of the RTD educational campaign, eight business establishments in Los Angeles and Long Beach have agreed to join the vanguard to put brochures and flyers on permanent display for their patrons.
 In Los Angeles, the display points are El Pollo Loco restaurant, L.A. Quik Check Cashing, Family Medical Clinic and Los Angeles Trade Technical College.
 In Long Beach, the displays are at Denny's restaurant, Big 5 Sporting Goods, Bob's Big Boy restaurant and Long Beach Memorial Hospital.
 Letter-size flyers in two colors have been printed in English and Spanish to explain to motorists how to read rail vehicle warning signs, and automobile left-hand turn signals found at Blue Line corridor intersections on city streets such as Washington and Long Beach boulevards.
 Numerous fender-bender accidents have occurred at intersections of city streets and the Blue Line in Los Angeles and Long Beach since the light rail opened on July 14, 1990. At that time, it had been almost 30 years since the Pacific Electric Red Cars had run on what was nearly the same route.
 "New generations of motorists who aren't accustomed to rail vehicles sharing the streets with them can become confused," said Alan F. Pegg, RTD general manager. "That's why the RTD has in place an ongoing public education program up and down the Blue Line corridor, to raise the public's awareness of safety precautions at train crossings."
 The campaign start-up was announced outside the El Pollo Loco restaurant at the corner of Washington Boulevard and Maple Avenue in Los Angeles. Other outlets of the fast food chain will participate in the safety education campaign by placing plastic display racks of flyers and brochures on counter tops or mounted on the wall within the reach of customers.
 -0- 1/27/92
 /CONTACT: Anthony Greno or Jim Smart of RTD, 213-972-4400/ CO: Southern California Rapid Transit District ST: California IN: SU:


CH-KJ -- LA034 -- 3972 01/27/92 18:27 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 27, 1992
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