J. M. SYMES, Vice-President.
OFFICERS OF SECTION
C. F. LARSON, Chairman.
E. A. MEYER, First Vice-Chairman.
E. G. EVANS, Second Vice-Chairman.
J. C. CAVISTON, Secretary.
30 VESEY STREET, NEW YORK, N. Y.
March 1, 1936.
This pamphlet is issued on behalf of every one who values life and a body that is whole, regardless of whether that value is attached to ones own personal well-being or that of those who are near and dear.
Through the media of the school room, legislative bodies, civic clubs, business organizations of all kinds, the home and wherever else the attention of our people may be secured, we are attempting in this Circular and Poster 153, to show the results of TRESPASSING on Railway property and influence those who may be tempted to do so, to refrain from this practice.
The word "TRESPASS" defined by Webster, means "Enter Unlawfully on the property of another."
If we would enter this discussion with a desire to be fair to those who own and operate the Railroads, we must admit that they have a right to prohibit trespassing on their property. Rights of way have been purchased, equipment has been built, tracks and railroad yards have been laid, all at tremendous expense, from which the public has derived great benefit. Taxes paid by the Railroads to the Federal, State and local governments go far to assist in defraying their expenses. Trains have a right to move when and however desired, and their operation has been made so safe that every person who has a right on Railroad property is protected to the greatest possible extent. A different situation exists in respect to the TRESPASSER, however, over whom Railway officers have no control, and over whom it is impossible for trained railway employes to exercise those influences which have proven efficient in the prevention of injury to themselves, passengers and others rightfully on the property of the Railroads.
Under the heading of TRESPASSERS, are found several classes of persons. Railway employes not on duty, boys and girls and adult local citizens, using Railway property for their own convenience, in going from place to place, either on foot or on trains, and hoboes and tramps. The extent to which Trespassing is prevalent is seen in the fact that an average of more than half a million trespassers are removed from Railway property by police officers monthly.
On the following pages, we will show the results in loss of life and in non-fatal injury to the several classes of persons here named, and the classes of accidents in which they were involved.
Yes, the wheels of progress must move. The reasonable demands of the public are that Transportation must go forward, in Safety, Speed and Comfort.
To accomplish this, locomotive and car wheels must move more rapidly, with ever increasing power, therefore with greater danger to those who place themselves in their way.
In the days of the noble Red man little danger came to him who placed himself in front of the patient horse upon whose back rested the strap bearing the weight of the load he dragged.
The same is true of the crude barrel which later served as a new mode of wheeled transportation.
Even a hundred years ago, with the advent of the "Tom Thumb," which in its initial trip covered thirteen miles in one hour and fifteen minutes, there was ample time for persons to move to a place of safety out of the way of the oncoming wheels.
It's different today. A large passenger locomotive weighs about 350 tons, equal to the combined weight of 3,500 men of 200 pounds each.
When this weight is being driven as high as 90 miles per hour to transport people where they want to go at the time they want to arrive, the danger to those who place themselves in its pathway is great.
This is attested in the fact that during the past ten years, almost 30,000 persons were killed while trespassing on Railway property, and this represents about one half the total persons killed in connection with all accidents on American Railroads.
That the trespass evil is growing more serious may be seen in an examination of the statistical data on the opposite page arranged in two periods of five years each, and the chart on page 4 describing fluctuation of all injuries to trespassers during the past ten years.
It is impressive to note that in 1925, there were 2,644 trespassers killed which was 40% of all Railroad fatalities.
In 1934 the number of trespassers killed was an increase of 10 over 1925, but fatalities to Employes and other persons had been reduced so greatly that the Trespasser fatalities constituted 54% of all Railroad fatalities.
These data definitely place resonsibility for this unnecessary loss of life.
We ask you to note that for the complete ten year period, only 2% of those killed in train and train service accidents while trespassing were Railway Employes off duty, 7% were boys and girls under 14 years
of age, 11 % were young persons between the ages of 14 and 21 years, 22% were of the class known as hoboes or tramps and 58% were other persons whom we know as citizens, usually living within the neighborhood where they met death.
Let's peep for a moment into progress as it is represented by the chart on page 4 of this Circular.
In 1925, there were 113 Railway Employes off duty, killed while trespassing; in 1934 there were but 16 such deaths. This `vas a direct result of the safety training given these men while on duty, which definitely remains with them when off duty. They are warned and repeatedly reminded that to be safe on railway property, they must form the habit of looking both ways before fouling any track, and if found on trains where they do not belong, they are disciplined, even though not on duty at the time.
A somewhat less favorable but encouraging record was made among boys and girls under 14 years of age, of whom in 1925 there were 209 killed while trespassing and in 1934 this number was reduced to 148.
This we believe is a result of Educational work in the schools and among parent-teachers organizations, by National Safety organizations, Local Safety Councils and Railway officers who have entered the school room with their messages on the subject.
All these features will produce results to the extent that they are vigorously and persistently followed.
With these two classes, all signs of progress end, for among young men and women, 14 to 21 years of age, Trespassing fatalities increased from 262 in 1925 to 297 in 1934.
Among hoboes and tramps, the number killed while trespassing increased from 470 in 1925 to 599 in 1934, and among those local citizens who use the property of the Railway Company's for their own purposes in violation of the law, the number killed in 1925 was 1,530 and in 1934 it remained near that figure at 1,506.
As to the manner in which these accidents occur, we find that about 6,000 persons were killed while trespassing on trains in the ten year period and more than three times that number were killed while trespassing on tracks.
The situation is serious from the viewpoint of the Railways, but far more serious as it may be seen by the average citizen.
Obviously, volumes could be written on the subject, before we could cover it in all its detail, but a far more desirable object will be accomplished, if through the issuance of this Circular, its presentation and analysis in the schools, and its consideration by Civic, Humane, Law enforcement and other organizations, local developments may be undertaken which will bring home to each individual the apalling waste of life, limb and usefulness which is being suffered by America's Sons and Daughters who knowingly and willfully violate the law of Trespass when they "Enter Unlawfully upon the property of another."
On behalf of the Committee on Education, L. G. BENTLEY, Chairman.
C. F. LARSON, Chairman, Safety Section.
J. C. CAVISTON, Secretary.