(INDIANAPOLIS) – Governor Eric Holcomb has declared September 22-28, 2019 as Indiana Rail Safety Week in conjunction with US and Canada Rail Safety Week that will take place in all 50 states and Canadian provinces.
The goal is to increase rail safety awareness by working collaboratively on national rail safety week. Indiana State Police, Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT), local law enforcement agencies and railroad companies have partnered together to raise awareness about the dangers of disregarding railroad crossing laws and trespassing on railroad property.
“Every three hours, a vehicle or person are hit by a train in the United States,” states Jessica Feder, Executive Director, Indiana Operation Lifesaver. “Indiana law enforcement agencies and railroad special agents will be out monitoring railroad crossings and checking for trespassers during rail safety week. We want the public to know how important it is to pay attention at railroad crossings and that trespassing on railroad tracks and property is dangerous and illegal.”
Indiana Operation Lifesaver has scheduled numerous enforcement blitzes throughout the state involving law enforcement agencies and an event with Amtrak called Operation Clear Track. There will be public safety announcements throughout the state, safety information distributed at college campuses, booths at statewide festivals and events, social media campaigns, messages on the INDOT dynamic highway signs, first responder training, and Operation Lifesaver signs at crossings where multiple train versus vehicle collisions have occurred. Indiana Operation Lifesaver is taking a proactive lead in the elimination of crossing collisions and trespasser fatalities.
In 2018, there were 150 railroad crossing collisions resulting in 54 people injured and 17 fatalities in the state of Indiana. Indiana is currently ranked 3rd nationally for railroad crossing collisions. The Hoosier State had 12 trespasser deaths last year as well as seven injuries.
“Our goal is to keep Hoosiers safe at crossings and near train tracks,” said Jessica Feder. “We encourage everyone to make safe decisions and pay attention at all railroad crossings and near railroad property. It could save your life!”
Indiana Operation Lifesaver is a non-profit organization dedicated to eliminating collisions, deaths, and injuries at highway-rail grade intersections and on railroad rights-of-way through public education, engineering and enforcement. To learn more about Indiana Operation Lifesaver, please visit us online at www.oli.org or call 812-528-4327.