NASCAR Driver David Ragan will take a break from the No. 34 Ford to get behind the controls of one of the most advanced CSX locomotives at 3 pm on Tuesday, April 23, at the Moncrief Rail Yard. There he will learn more about train operations and to promote the "Play it Safe" campaign, which encourages safety among pedestrians and motorists around railroad tracks.
In other events during the day, Ragan will put the CSX primary race car, which is painted with the "Play It Safe" scheme, on display at 11:30 am at CSX Headquarters at 500 Water Street. From 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm, he will sign autographs for CSX employees. On April 26, fans attending the Richmond International Speedway Race Weekend will get the opportunity to sign a pledge to exercise caution around railroad tracks on the actual hood of the CSX "Play It Safe" No. 34 Ford, which will race in the April 27 Toyota Owners 400 in Richmond, Va.
"We plan to give David a tour of one of our latest locomotives and show him how it operates. The tour will include the perspective from the engineer's seat, and a briefing on how CSX - the largest railroad in the East - delivers freight safely and reliably," says Gary Sease, Corporate Communications Director.
Ragan, who is also a spokesman about the dangers of distracted driving, welcomed the opportunity to be part of another safety message.
"It can take the average freight train traveling at 55 mph up to a mile to stop," Ragan said. "To put the problem in perspective, every three hours, a person or vehicle is hit by a train."
"We're proud to partner with the team that has been most associated with driver safety," says Sease. "David is a great spokesperson, and we hope his passion for this issue will translate into increased awareness about safety."
As the primary sponsor for the Richmond race, CSX will use the entire car to promote safety. In addition to the hood of signed safety pledges, the No. 34 Ford will feature the "I brake for trains" bumper sticker, both quarter panels and the hood will display the "Play It Safe" campaign tagline and other messages. Ragan is utilizing social media and encourages his fans to help promote the message with the #PlayItSafe hashtag as it will be seen on his car.
In addition to NASCAR, the "Play It Safe" campaign targets college students on campuses intersected by railroad tracks and includes billboards placed strategically near rail crossings, online advertising, social media and other communications that urge caution.
Other executions in the series include the lines, "No Guts, No Gory," "Open up a giant can of safety" and "Born to be mild."