Skip to main content

Mission, Vision and History

In America, a person or vehicle is hit by a train roughly every three hours, and that's a reality we are committed to change.

Operation Lifesaver is a non-profit organization that provides free public education and awareness programs in states across the U.S. to prevent collisions, injuries and fatalities on and around railroad tracks and highway-rail grade crossings. Injuries and fatalities that occur at highway-rail crossings or on railroad property are a real, but often preventable, problem.  We are committed to providing the educational resources and necessary solutions to help resolve this problem.


Operation Lifesaver is a nonprofit rail safety education and public awareness organization dedicated to saving lives.


To be the recognized leader in providing the public with rail safety education and awareness programs - ending death and injuries due to trespassing and collisions on or near the tracks. 


We started in 1972 when the average number of collisions at U.S. highway-rail grade crossings had risen above 12,000 incidents yearly. To address this tragic reality, the Idaho governor's office, along with the Idaho Peace Officers and Union Pacific Railroad launched a six-week public awareness educational campaign called Operation Lifesaver to promote highway-rail grade crossing safety. After Idaho's crossing-related fatalities decreased that year by 43%, the successful program was adopted by Nebraska (1973) and in Kansas and Georgia the following year. Within a decade it had spread across the country. In 1986 a non-profit Operation Lifesaver national office was created to help support the efforts of state OL programs and raise national awareness on highway-rail grade crossing issues.

Today, Operation Lifesaver's network of authorized volunteer speakers and trained instructors offer free rail safety education programs across the U.S. We speak to school groups, driver education classes, community members, professional drivers, law enforcement officers, and emergency responders. Our programs are co-sponsored by federal, state and local government agencies, highway safety organizations and America's railroad systems. Together, we promote the three E's - Education, Enforcement and Engineering - to keep people safe around the tracks and railway crossings all across the country.

Learn more about Operation Lifesaver's history and our 2022 50th Anniversary celebration and activities.

Contact Us

Operation Lifesaver's national office in Washington, DC supports state programs, developing videos, educational brochures, instructional information and other materials for audiences of all ages. Our state coordinators are located across the U.S.

Operation Lifesaver, Inc.
425 Third Street SW, Suite 915
Washington, D.C. 20024

Fax: (703)-519-8267
Email :

Operation Lifesaver, Inc.
P.O. Box 760
West Warwick, RI



Contact Your OL State Coordinator

If you're curious about Operation Lifesaver rail safety education activities and programs in your area, your state coordinator is the person to contact. He or she can help schedule a free rail safety presentation for your school, community group, or office. We even offer free presentations at country fairs and special events. Interested in volunteering? Your coordinator will tell you the best way to get involved.

Find your State Coordinator or call us at 703-739-0308 for information about presentations, training and volunteer opportunities available in your area.