, the rail safety education nonprofit organization, today urges professional photographers to be aware of the risk to life and limb in the current trend of taking photos of high school seniors and wedding parties on train tracks or trestles. At 2:00pm Eastern today, Operation Lifesaver President Helen M. Sramek participates in a webinar with Professional Photographers of America to educate photographers and others about the importance of safety around tracks and trains. She will be sharing six "must-know" tips professional photographers should consider before holding a photo shoot near the tracks.
- Trains can't stop quickly to avoid people or vehicles on the tracks.
- An optical illusion makes it hard to determine a train's distance from you...and its speed.
- The average train overhangs the track by at least three feet.
- Railroad tracks, trestles, yards and rights-of-way are private property.
- No tracks should be assumed to be abandoned or inactive.
- People in your community mimic your behavior.
"We understand the passion that photographers have for their work; however, they may not realize that using train tracks as a backdrop for portraits of high school seniors, wedding parties, and families is not only dangerous, it is illegal trespassing," says Sramek. "As part of Operation Lifesaver's mission to reduce deaths and injuries around trains, we urge professional and amateur photographers alike to set the right example for others." After all, last year almost 800 people were injured or killed while trespassing on railroad property throughout the United States, according to preliminary Federal Railroad Administration statistics. Sramek also notes that about every three hours in the U.S., a person or vehicle is hit by a train.
The aforementioned webinar is available to PPA members online at: http://www.ppa.com/benefits/memberessential_archive.php