Amtrak Police, Operation Lifesaver mobilize largest simultaneous railroad safety initiative in U.S.
Washington, D.C. (September 26, 2017) – Operation Lifesaver, Inc. (OLI), the national rail safety education organization, is joining forces today with Amtrak for “Operation Clear Track,” the largest simultaneous railroad safety law enforcement operation ever attempted in the United States, involving more than 200 police or sheriff’s departments across the lower 48 states. The event will take place today at 10 a.m. Eastern, 9 a.m. Central, 8 a.m. Mountain and 7 a.m. Pacific.
“Incidents involving trains directly impact passengers, onboard crews and in many instances the communities that we serve,” said Amtrak Police Chief Neil Trugman. “The overwhelming pain surrounding these tragedies is very real, and we hope this safety initiative reaches those who still believe there are no consequences for disobeying state grade crossing laws or trespassing on private railroad property.”
During “Operation Clear Track,” police will report to highway rail grade crossings where there have been a high number of incidents according to preliminary data by the Federal Railroad Administration. Once onsite, law enforcement officials will enforce grade crossing and trespassing laws during a three-hour surge, writing citations and warnings to violators. Results from the surge will be shared on Friday, September 29.
“We are proud to partner with law enforcement agencies across the country to raise public awareness about using caution near train tracks, and never using the tracks as a shortcut,” said OLI President & CEO Bonnie Murphy. “While we have made strides in reducing deaths and injuries since the first Operation Lifesaver program was started 45 years ago, there are still those who fail to heed railroad safety warnings, leaving families and communities to endure these preventable tragedies.”
Each year in the U.S., more than 2000 people are killed or injured in grade crossing and trespassing incidents. OLI spearheaded U.S. Rail Safety Week and coordinated events like “Operation Clear Track” with state Operation Lifesaver programs to reduce these incidents and empower people of all ages across the country to keep themselves safe near tracks and trains.
U.S. Rail Safety Week runs from September 24 -30. For more information, visit http://www.oli.org/RSWeek
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 the public with tips and statistics to encourage safe behavior near the tracks. OLI will lead a national observance of U.S. Rail Safety Week, September 24-30, 2017. Learn more about U.S. Rail Safety Week; follow OLI on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.