Rail Safety

Every Four Hours Someone is Hit by a Train

National Rail Safety Week is Sept. 22-28

For the third annual Rail Safety Week, Sept. 22-28, 2019, the Illinois Chapter of Operation Lifesaver and the National Safety Council are reminding all Americans to take caution around grade crossings, where the rails and the roadway meet. Every four hours in America, either a person or a vehicle is hit by a train, and too many of these incidents happen at grade crossings.

Roadway-rail crossing fatalities involving motor vehicles totaled 168 in 2017, an increase of 7% over 2016. Pedestrian fatalities totaled 86 that year.

Since 2017, each of the 212,000 railroad crossings in the U.S. has been marked with a sign that clearly identifies the crossing, along with a number to call immediately if a vehicle or another hazard is found on the tracks.

Stay safe in and around grade crossings:

  • Never try to beat a train; whether on foot or in a vehicle, stay off the tracks if the grade crossing lights are on and the gate is down
  • Respect the train and tracks; only cross a track at a grade crossing
  • If stuck on the tracks, find the blue sign identifying the crossing number and call the railroad so trains in the vicinity can be alerted as soon as possible

More information about Rail Safety Week and Operation Lifesaver is available here.

Operation Lifesaver is a nonprofit public safety education and awareness organization dedicated to reducing collisions, fatalities and injuries at highway-rail crossings and trespassing on or near railroad tracks.

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