Initiative focuses on safety near railroad tracks and crossings
WASHINGTON – The Amtrak Police Department and Operation Lifesaver Inc. (OLI), the national rail safety education non-profit, are joining law enforcement and other first responders across the U.S. today for “Operation Clear Track,” the single largest rail safety initiative in the U.S. This annual initiative takes place during Rail Safety Week, observed this year from September 19-25. The goal of Operation Clear Track and Rail Safety Week is to raise awareness about the importance of making safe choices near railroad tracks and crossings.
“According to the Federal Railroad Administration, trespassing on the railroad right-of-way is the leading cause of rail-related deaths in America,” said Amtrak Chief of Police D. Samuel Dotson. “These incidents serve as critical reminders about the importance of obeying the law and exercising extreme caution around railroad tracks and crossings. In an effort to save lives and keep communities safe, we continue to work closely on Operation Clear Track to emphasize the importance of obeying the law and the dangers of ignoring warnings at rail crossings.”
Said Operation Lifesaver, Inc. Executive Director Rachel Maleh. “Our mission at Operation Lifesaver is to save lives by helping people make safe choices around railroad tracks and trains. We are grateful to Amtrak along with the first responders joining our efforts today and throughout the year sharing rail safety messaging throughout their communities. Together, we can help stop track tragedies.”
During Operation Clear Track, law enforcement representatives report to high-incident railroad grade crossings in various locations. Once onsite, law enforcement officials share safety tips and enforce crossing and trespassing laws as well as write citations and warnings to violators.
State Operation Lifesaver programs across the U.S. and their partners in the first response community participate in Operation Clear Track and other Rail Safety Week events to reduce these incidents and empower the state’s residents to keep themselves safe near tracks and trains. This collaborative railroad safety initiative is one of several events scheduled during Rail Safety Week.
For more information on railroad safety, visit oli.org and stayoffthetracks.org.