Statement by OLI Executive Director Rachel Maleh on the June 27 Crossing Incident in Missouri
WASHINGTON, DC, June 28, 2022 – Rachel Maleh, Executive Director of Operation Lifesaver, Inc. (OLI), released the following statement on the June 27 crossing collision in Mendon, Missouri.
“Our thoughts are with all those affected by yesterday’s tragic incident in Missouri, including those who lost their lives, the passengers, their families, the train crew members, first responders and the Mendon, Missouri community. This heartbreaking incident is a sad reminder that every three hours in the U.S., a vehicle or person is hit by a train.
In the wake of this tragedy, Operation Lifesaver would like to encourage everyone to review our safety tips, take our Rail Safety Pledge and share it with family and friends. Together, we can stop track tragedies.”
Operation Lifesaver’s safety tips include:
SEE TRACKS? THINK TRAIN!®
- Always expect a train.
- Trains may be closer and traveling faster than they appear and can run on any track at any time in any direction.
- It can take a train a mile or more to stop — the length of 18 football fields.
CROSS LEGALLY AND SAFELY
- The only safe and legal place for anyone to cross railroad tracks is at designated crossings.
- Always obey warning signs and signals. Always look for a train before proceeding.
AVOID GETTING STUCK
- Before crossing, be sure there is space on the other side to completely clear the tracks.
- Trains overhang tracks. When driving leave at least 15 feet between the front and rear of your vehicle and the nearest rail. Avoid shifting gears while crossing.
GET OUT! GET AWAY! FIND THE BLUE AND WHITE SIGN
- If your vehicle gets stuck or stalls at a crossing, get everyone out and far away immediately, even if you do not see a train.
- Call the number on the Blue and White Emergency Notification System (ENS) sign and share the crossing ID number with the dispatcher.
- No sign? Dial 911.
WAIT, LOOK BOTH WAYS
- Multiple tracks may mean multiple trains. Ensure you can clearly see down the tracks in both directions before proceeding.
- Avoid crossing while lights are flashing, or gates are down.
- Never try to beat a train.
- Public Service Announcement - Shows drivers of low-clearance vehicles, including trucks, how to make safe choices around railroad tracks and trains along with steps to take if your vehicle gets stuck or stalled on the tracks. https://oli.org/media/low-clearance-vehicle-railroad-crossing-safety-tips-60-second-english-psa-open-captions
- Video - Rail Safety for Cement, Dump and Garbage Truck Drivers shows professional drivers the steps to take to avoid a devastating crash with a freight or passenger train.https://oli.org/media/rail-safety-cement-dump-and-garbage-truck-drivers
About Operation Lifesaver, Inc.
Operation Lifesaver, which this year celebrates the 50th anniversary of its founding in 1972, 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. In 1986 the non-profit Operation Lifesaver, Inc. national office was created to help support and coordinate the efforts of state Operation Lifesaver programs, saving lives by sharing rail safety messages with audiences across the U.S. and beyond. 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 social media via Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube.