NJ Transit gets back to school with two innovative safety education programs

NEWARK, NJ — As New Jersey schools get back in full swing, NJ Transit is rolling out two initiatives as part of its ongoing Safety Education Program. Special SEAT — Safety Education Awareness Training — addresses the importance of rail safety for students with special needs, specifically those with autism and speech delays. Protecting Our Pedestrians is designed to encourage pedestrian safety for students in kindergarten through 12th grade.

“These programs reinforce NJ Transit’s commitment to safety for both pedestrians and students with special needs,” New Jersey Department of Transportation Commissioner and NJ Transit board Chairperson Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti said. “In its more than 30-year history, NJ Transit’s Safety Education Program has made nearly five thousand presentations, educating tens of thousands of people across New Jersey.”

“Special SEAT and Protecting Our Pedestrians are programs that are an important part of NJ Transit’s overall mission to prioritize safety, including within the communities we serve throughout the state,” NJ Transit President and CEO Kevin S. Corbett said. “These best-in-class educational programs raise transit safety awareness for K-12 students, including those with special needs.”

Special SEAT is a six-week, 40-minute per session training, developed to educate students with special needs. Special SEAT implements a modified version of applied behavior analysis to master awareness of transportation safety; with a specific focus on staying alert and being aware of rail and track surroundings.

The program provides an engaging and interactive presentation with puppets, arts and crafts, and natural environment training; age-appropriate materials and videos; safety tips and procedures; and lifetime mastery of rail safety that leads to independent travel.

Some of the important rules Special SEAT students learn during the program are: no trespassing, stay alert, obey signs and signals, cross at designated areas only, and stand behind the safety line on station platforms.

For more information on Special SEAT, visit njtransit.com/seat.

Protecting Our Pedestrians, an interactive 45-minute presentation, addresses crossing streets and intersections safely, traffic hazards and signals, parking lot safety, and more. The presentation also includes a discussion on the dangers of the railroad tracks; age-appropriate films, including NJ Transit’s video “Sly Fox and Birdie,” created by the Operation Lifesaver organization; and a question-and-answer session.

For more information on POP, visit njtransit.com/pop.

Both Special SEAT and POP are free of charge to teachers, paraprofessionals, guidance counselors and school administrators.