RTD’s near miss video aims to expand the conversation around rail safety

Near misses between trains and pedestrians are a daily occurrence on railways across the United States, and the Regional Transportation District’s (RTD) train system is no exception. With approximately four to five reported instances per week occurring along the agency’s rail lines, RTD is sharing for the first time what these encounters are like in a sobering near miss video.

RTD cares deeply that the public is safe on and around its rail system. Pedestrian-train near miss cases are of national concern, and are described as incidents that did not result in injury or damage, but had the potential to do so. The unsafe behavior that leads to these occurrences varies widely and includes ignoring warning devices at crossings, running to catch or beat a train, and being distracted by headphones or cell phones.

One aspect of near misses often overlooked is the immediate and sometimes lasting impact they have on witnesses, pedestrians and, especially, train operators. Operators who experience a near miss can be affected mentally and emotionally for the rest of their lives, even causing some to not return to work.

RTD encourages you to follow and share these simple safety tips:

  • Don't be distracted. Avoid listening to music or using your phone.
  • Always follow safety signage and obey warning devices such as flashing red lights and gate arms.
  • Stop and wait for crossing gates to fully rise before crossing the tracks.
  • Never trespass on a train track -- it's illegal and dangerous.
  • Always look both ways before crossing the tracks, as trains can travel from either direction at any time.

With close to 100 miles of RTD rail tracks now in operation within the Denver metro area, the agency invites the community to learn about the impact of near misses and to consider how careful choices keep everyone safe.

RTD’s near miss video signals the beginning of a national Rail Safety Week effort to remind pedestrians and drivers to be alert and safe to stop track tragedies.