One-day event marks first U.S. Rail Safety Week
WASHINGTON – Amtrak and Operation Lifesaver Inc. (OLI) kicked off U.S. Rail Safety Week today and announced a new collaborative rail safety effort designed to save lives by alerting the public to the dangers of being inattentive at rail grade crossings and along the railroad right-of-way.
As part of the week-long observance, Amtrak Police and OLI will mobilize Operation Clear Track, the largest simultaneous railroad safety law enforcement operation ever attempted in the United States, involving more than 200 police or sheriff’s departments across the lower 48 states.
The one-day operation will take place during three hours on Tuesday, Sept. 26, starting at 10 a.m. ET, 9 a.m. CT, 8 a.m. MT, and 7 a.m. PT. During the operation, local, state, federal and railroad law enforcement officials will be stationed at each state’s high incident grade crossings based on preliminary data from the Federal Railroad Administration. Once on-site, officers will enforce their grade crossing laws and issue warnings and citations to violators. Law enforcement personnel will also distribute more than 240,000 railroad safety cards to motorists and pedestrians at those crossings.
“It’s critical that citizens in every corner of the country fully understand the dangers and consequences of trespassing on railroad property,” Amtrak Police Chief Neil Trugman said. “By mobilizing our forces, we hope to raise awareness, save lives and prevent injuries along the railroad rights-of-way from coast to coast.”
According to OLI, a national rail safety education nonprofit organization, each year approximately 2,000 people are killed or injured in grade crossing and trespassing incidents nationwide. Every three hours, a person or vehicle is hit by a train.
“We are proud to partner with our local law enforcement agencies to raise public awareness about using caution near train tracks, and never using the tracks as a shortcut,” Operation Lifesaver President and CEO Bonnie Murphy said. “While crossing collisions have dropped 83 percent since the first Operation Lifesaver program was started 45 years ago, this unprecedented enforcement and education event will further our mission to eliminate these preventable tragedies.”
Operation Clear Track is one of several events scheduled during U.S. Rail Safety Week now through Sept. 30. For more information on railroad safety visit www.oli.org.
Amtrak – America’s Railroad® – is dedicated to safe and reliable mobility as the nation’s intercity passenger rail service provider and its high-speed rail operator. With our state and commuter partners, we move people, the economy and the nation forward, carrying more than 30 million Amtrak passengers for each of the past five years. Formally known as the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, Amtrak is governed by a 10-member board of directors, nine of whom are appointed by the President of the United States plus the Amtrak CEO. Anthony R. Coscia is board chairman and Jeffrey R. Moreland is vice chairman. Amtrak operates more than 300 trains daily – at speeds up to 150 mph (241 kph) – connecting more than 500 destinations in 46 states, the District of Columbia and three Canadian Provinces. Learn more at Amtrak.com or call 800-USA-RAIL for schedules, fares and other information. Check us out at blog.Amtrak.com, Like us on Facebook.com and Follow us on Twitter @Amtrak.
About Operation Lifesaver
Operation Lifesaver is a nonprofit public safety education and awareness organization dedicated to reducing collisions, fatalities and injuries at highway-rail crossings and preventing trespassing on or near railroad tracks. A national network of trained volunteers gives free presentations on rail safety and a public awareness campaign, “See Tracks? Think Train!” provides the public with tips and statistics to encourage safe behavior near the tracks. OLI will lead a national observance of U.S. Rail Safety Week, September 24-30, 2017. Learn more about U.S. Rail Safety Week; follow OLI on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.