Metra's 2019-2020 Safety Contest! Show us why you should "Obey the Signs" when around trains and railroad tracks.
For the 14th straight year, Metra asked the region's students to illustrate through posters or essays the importance of safe behaviors near railroad tracks and rail crossings. The theme for the 2019-2020 school year: “Obey the Signs" emphasizes the importance of looking for and obeying signs and control devices that are installed along the railroad tracks and at rail crossings.
The contest is open to all students in grades K through 12 living or attending school in Metra’s six-county service area: Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will. The deadline for all entries is Friday, Jan. 31, 2020.
In 2018 alone, 819 people were injured, and 271 people lost their lives in the U.S. in collisions at railroad crossings, according to statistics compiled by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). In Illinois, 26 people died in 2018 when they were struck by trains while trespassing on railroad property and 17 people died in 2018 when they were struck by trains at a highway-rail crossing. Each one of these incidents was completely preventable. That's why Metra feels it's so important to reach out and educate people, especially our children, about how to be smart and stay safe around the railroad tracks and rail crossings found throughout our region.
The Safety Poster Contest is a key part of these ongoing efforts to increase public awareness. Through the contest, we're asking students to take on an advocacy role and create an image that clearly communicates the importance of safety near the tracks. One first-, second- and third-place winner will be selected from each grade, K through 12, and awarded the following prizes:
First Place: iPad
Second Place: $250 gift card
Third Place: $100 gift card
The winning designs will be featured in Metra’s safety calendar, website, station displays and on weekend passes.
Students are also encouraged to enter the Metra Safety Essay Contest. Contest participants are asked to describe in 300 words or less why it's important to “Obey the Signs" when near trains and railroad tracks. There will be a first place awarded in each of the essay contest's three divisions: Grades K-4, 5-8 and 9-12. The first-place winners in the essay contest will receive an iPad.
Metra wants as many students as possible to participate and be exposed to rail safety information and encourage schools to make rail safety a school-wide project. Metra will recognize the school that submits the most entries in the 2018-2019 Safety Poster Contest by awarding it a new computer compatible with the school’s current system. Each school’s entries will be totaled after the contest deadline: Friday, Jan. 31, 2020.
Exclusive news and announcements are also available on the Metra contest Facebook page
In the tabs on the left side of this page, you can see the work of past contest winners, news coverage about the contest, review Contest Rules, and find out how to submit your entry. Teachers will also find useful information under the tab marked Classroom Materials: fact sheets, coloring pages and bulletin board displays to help them integrate railroad safety messages into their lesson plans. In addition, the site includes games and information sheets designed for parents and driver education instructors.