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Operation Lifesaver, Inc. notes mixed results in 2018 for crossing, trespass casualties

By Operation Lifesaver

WASHINGTON, DC, April 10, 2019 — Recently-released U.S. government statistics reveal that railroad grade crossing collisions and rail trespass deaths increased in 2018, according to rail safety education nonprofit Operation Lifesaver, Inc. (OLI). OLI Executive Director Rachel Maleh cited preliminary Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) statistics that show U.S. crossing collisions rose 4.3 percent, crossing deaths remained constant and crossing injuries decreased 2.9 percent from 2017 to 2018. Total casualties (deaths and injuries) from rail trespassing climbed 2.8 percent in 2018; trespass deaths grew 12.0 percent and trespass injuries fell 6.3 percent from their levels in 2017.

Preliminary Rail Crossing and Trespass Statistics, 2018 vs. 2017

Source: Federal Railroad Administration Office of Safety Analysis

      Crossing Statistics, U.S. Totals                     Trespass Statistics, U.S. Totals

 Collisions DeathsInjuries All CasualtiesDeathsInjuries
% Change+4.30.0-2.9% Change+2.8+12.0-6.3

“We are troubled to see that these tragic railroad crossing incidents and pedestrian trespass casualties continue to rise,” said Maleh. “Some indicators were better in 2018, however. Crossing deaths were flat from the previous year, while crossing and trespass injuries both dropped. Rail Safety Week, September 22-28 in the U.S. and Canada, will focus attention on these key public safety issues. These statistics show that our efforts to save lives, working with the FRA and safety partners at freight, passenger and commuter railroads, are more important than ever,” she stated.

“It is vitally important that we continue to strengthen efforts among all public, private and government stakeholders to prevent and reduce grade crossing collisions and trespass incidents,” said FRA Administrator Ronald L. Batory. “There is still much work to do, but through our longstanding partnership with Operation Lifesaver, Inc., more Americans understand how to safely traverse grade crossings and refrain from risky behavior along rail lines.”

States with the most crossing collisions in 2018 were Texas, California, Indiana, Georgia, Illinois, Florida, Louisiana, Alabama, Ohio and Pennsylvania. States with the most trespasser casualties (deaths and injuries combined) in 2018 were California, Texas, Florida, New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Georgia, North Carolina and New Jersey.

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. OLI leads an international observance of Rail Safety Week each September. Learn more about Rail Safety Week; follow OLI on FacebookInstagramTwitter and Pinterest


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