Amtrak Police and Operation Lifesaver Mobilize Largest Railroad Safety Operation in U.S.
WASHINGTON, D.C., September 25, 2018 – Amtrak Police and Operation Lifesaver, Inc. (OLI), the national railroad safety education organization, are partnering again for the second annual “Operation Clear Track” event, the largest railroad safety law enforcement operation in the United States, involving more than 500 police or sheriff’s departments across the lower 48 states.
“No one should think it’s okay, even one time, to ignore grade crossing or trespassing laws on railroad property,” said Amtrak Police Chief Neil Trugman. “This safety detail will deliver that message to thousands of people in-person today to try and stop these tragic rail-related incidents that occur every day in someone’s home town.”
During “Operation Clear Track,” police will report to hundreds of railroad grade crossings around the country deemed “high incident” locations by the Federal Railroad Administration. Once onsite, law enforcement officials will enforce their state grade crossing and trespassing laws during a three-hour safety detail, writing citations and warnings to violators. Additionally, more than 250,000 railroad safety public awareness cards were created for distribution to motorists and pedestrians during the event.
“Enforcement, education and engineering are our three best weapons against incidents involving trains,” said Operation Lifesaver Interim President Wende Corcoran. “While we have made strides in reducing deaths and injuries since our inception 46 years ago, the goal of Operation Clear Track and other Rail Safety Week activities is to empower citizens to keep themselves safe near tracks and trains. This year’s Rail Safety Week theme is ‘Stop Track Tragedies,’ and Operation Clear Track is an important part of our efforts.”
According to OLI, each year approximately 2,000 people are killed or injured in grade crossing and trespassing incidents nationwide. That means every three hours, a person or vehicle comes in contact with a train. The goal of today’s national railroad safety initiative is to raise public awareness in every community about staying off the tracks, which is the focal point of Operation Lifesaver’s “Stop Track Tragedies” campaign, which can be seen at stoptracktragedies.org.
This collaborative national railroad safety initiative is one of several events scheduled during Rail Safety Week, which is being observed in the U.S. and Canada this year from September 23 -29. For more information on railroad safety, visit oli.org.
About Operation Lifesaver, Inc.
Operation Lifesaver is a non-profit 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. Learn more at oli.org; follow OLI on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.
Amtrak offers a more comfortable and convenient travel experience with free Wi-Fi on most trains, plenty of leg room and no middle seat. With our state and commuter partners, we move people, the economy and the nation forward, carrying more than 30 million Amtrak customers for each of the past seven years. Amtrak operates more than 300 trains daily, connecting more than 500 destinations in 46 states, the District of Columbia and three Canadian Provinces, and reaches 400 additional destinations via connecting bus routes. Learn more at Amtrak.com.