Amtrak Police and Operation Lifesaver Mobilize Virtual “Operation Clear Track”
First Responders Across the U.S. Join Public Awareness Effort During Rail Safety Week
WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 22, 2020) – The Amtrak Police Department and Operation Lifesaver Inc. (OLI), the national rail safety education organization, have mobilized hundreds of law enforcement representatives and first responders across the country delivering simultaneous rail safety messages on one day as part of the virtual “Operation Clear Track,” railroad safety effort. This fourth annual initiative takes place during Rail Safety Week, which runs from September 21-27 in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
“The first responders who signed up this year to electronically share our rail safety message are the same men and women who report to the scene when a railroad incident occurs,” said Amtrak Police Chief Sam Dotson. “They know better than most, the tragic aftermath of these calls, and are our best ambassadors when it comes to warning the public about the deadly consequences of ignoring state grade crossing and trespassing laws. We hope communities pay attention to their voices and choose to do the right thing around trains and train tracks this year and every year.”
Coordinated by Amtrak, Operation Lifesaver Inc. and Operation Lifesaver Canada, Operation Clear Track aims to reduce the number of railway crossing and trespassing incidents in the U.S. and Canada — incidents which seriously injure or kill more than 2,100 people each year.
Safety resources shared by first responders pledging to take part in Operation Clear Track 2020 include social media messaging, rail safety videos and an online version of a safety tips card for drivers and pedestrians handed out during previous in-person Operation Clear Track events.
“Every three hours in the U.S., a person or vehicle is hit by a train,” said Operation Lifesaver, Inc. Executive Director Rachel Maleh. “While we have made strides in reducing deaths and injuries, the goal of Operation Clear Track and other Rail Safety Week activities is empowering individuals and communities to be safe around tracks and raise rail safety awareness. We appreciate the ongoing safety partnership of the first responder community.”
Participating departments will also post information focusing on the importance of obeying state railroad grade crossing and trespassing laws throughout Rail Safety Week.
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.
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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 tips and statistics to encourage safe behavior near the tracks. Learn more about Rail Safety Week; follow OLI on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter,Pinterest and YouTube.
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