Published on : Thursday, June 15, 2017
Amtrak is raising awareness about safety in an effort to reduce injuries and fatalities resulting from unsafe behavior by motorists and pedestrians on railroad crossings and tracks as the summer season gets underway.
Vehicle-train collisions at highway-rail grade crossings fell 2.4 percent in 2016, according to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). The number of people killed in these incidents rose 13.7 percent last year, and deaths due to train track trespassing increased 12.8 percent. Total trespass-related casualties increased 14.5 percent from 2015 levels, according to the FRA.
America’s Railroad(r) is one of several partners with Operation Lifesaver, Inc. (OLI), a national, nonprofit safety education group working to eliminate deaths and injuries at railroad crossings and along railroad rights-of-way. OLI has programs in 46 states, and trained volunteers who provide free safety presentations to community groups, school bus operators, truckers and student drivers to raise awareness of the dangers around railroad tracks and trains. OLI uses materials from their national public awareness campaign, “See Tracks? Think Train!” to connect with the public through digital ads and at events.
Amtrak Police Department Deputy Chief Martin Conway serves on OLI’s board of directors.
“The safety of customers, employees and the public is Amtrak’s top priority,” Conway said. “Education and outreach are critical in helping the public understand the importance of railroad safety.”
Rail Safety Tips:
* Report an emergency. A toll-free number is posted on every grade crossing for the public to contact a railroad to report problems.
* Avoid walking, biking, or jogging on a railroad track.
* Remember to always stop at railroad crossings.
* Obey all warning signs and signals. Trains can come from either direction on the same track at any time and can be very quiet.
* Use of headsets or cell phones around tracks can prevent a person from hearing an approaching train.
* Trains are wider than the tracks. If a person gets too close, they can be hit by or dragged under the train.
* Never drive around lowered gates – it’s illegal and deadly. In addition, there are substantial fines for going around the crossing arms.
* Report suspicious items, persons, or activity immediately to the Amtrak Police Department by approaching a uniformed officer, calling (800) 331-0008, sending a text
to APD11 (27311), or by calling 911.
Tags: Amtrak Railway