SEPTA safety blitz aims at distracted riders

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SEPTA is once again rolling out its campaign to remind distracted riders to always look before they step. (WPVI)

In the hustle and bustle of rushing to get to where we are going, many folks simply don't pay attention to their surroundings.

But SEPTA is once again rolling out its campaign to remind distracted riders to always look before they step.

SEPTA is calling this a safety blitz targeting those riders that might be on their phone, listening to music, and might not be completely aware of their surroundings.

SEPTA employees greeted riders during the morning rush hour at the Frankford Transportation Center, handing out pamphlets and preaching safety.

"We started to see people were stepping off the platform or being a little too close to the edge - not behind the yellow lines. We just want people to pay attention to where you are," said Heather Redfern of SEPTA.

Last year one instance was captured on video. A man distracted by his cell phone fell onto the tracks. Luckily, he's ok.

And SEPTA surveillance video captured another incident from last year when, for whatever reason, a man walked right off the platform at the Cecil B Moore station. He was not harmed either.

What do you do when you have your phone out, your earbuds on, and you're walking through the strain station? How do you stay aware?

"I keep it low so I can hear the outside plus the music. Although I do recommend taking one ear bud out," said Joe Young of Northeast Philadelphia.

Action News spoke with SEPTA riders.

A group of teens told us their friends are pros at multi-tasking.

"No! They no better, sometimes they bump into you, but they be like, 'Oh, you're on your phone, whatever," said Maya Gordon of North Philadelphia.

But others say they see distractions on the trains and buses all the time.

"Somebody walking almost falling down the steps on their phone, or all kind of stupid stuff - that's on them," said Terry Bell of Delaware County.

"I think people are becoming aware this is an issue. It wakes people up to, 'Hey, that could be me, because my head is buried into my phone,'" says Redfern.

SEPTA holds safety blitzes like this at all of their stations throughout the year. This is the first one in 2017.

Related Topics:
philadelphia newsSEPTAcellphone distractionsNortheast Philadelphia
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