Old Depot hosts Railroad Safety DayPublished 10:20pm Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Area children watched in horror Wednesday as a body was violently ejected from a vehicle at the Old Depot Museum. Thankfully, the body was no more than a dummy and the scene was a simple simulation encouraging children to wear their seatbelt as a part of Railroad Safety Day.
Railroad Safety Day, held at the Old Depot Museum, saw crowds of children ready to devour hotdogs and learn about automotive safety.
“We’re just promoting safety about the railroads and advising people to stay away from the crossings,” said Rodney Houser, locomotive engineer for Norfolk Southern Railroad. “During the summertime we get a lot of kids that cross the tracks and it’s a hazard.”
As Houser spoke with parents and children about railroad safety he reiterated just how dangerous walking on the tracks really is.
“The tracks can be slippery and we advise [everyone] to cross at the crossings,” Houser said, pointing out that walking on the tracks is considered trespassing. “I don’t think a lot of people know that. People can be fined for it.”
In between riding a small train car and bouncing on a large inflatable provided by the Selma Fire Department, children learned first-hand the importance of safety, such as wearing their seatbelt.
Alabama State Trooper Charles Dysart showed the children two demonstrations. In the first demonstration, a dummy wearing a seatbelt was placed in a rollover simulation. Seatbelt on, the dummy stayed locked in. However, in the second demonstration, the dummy wasn’t wearing a seatbelt and was immediately ejected from the vehicle.
“I thought this demonstration was very effective,” said Cookie Stevenson, operations manager for Rail Inc. “That was all a part of the Fire Department Safety program — it really shows how important wearing a seatbelt is.”
Along with railroad safety and seatbelt safety, the Dallas County EMA visited the Old Depot Museum and encouraged children on how to be safe this summer.
“We’re just encouraging safety and for kids to have a happy, safe summer,” Stevenson said.