Safe in 60: Rail Safety Week

Sep 24, 2018, 7:00 AM | Updated: 10:58 am

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — This is “Rail Safety Week.” Police departments across the country have partnered with Amtrak and Operation Lifesaver to remind people how important it is to follow train safety laws along the railroad tracks.

The second annual safety week goes from September 23-29 across the United States and Canada.

That’s why you may see more officers by railroad tracks across the Wasatch Front distributing education cards, issuing warnings and enforcing railroad track laws to drivers, pedestrians and people trespassing along the tracks.

The message is an important one. In 2017 there were over 250 people killed in a collision with a train in the United States – about one every three hours.

It takes a train going 55 miles per hour more than one mile to stop. That’s the equivalent of 18 football fields. With that in mind, here are some safety tips to consider around trains from Operation Lifesaver.

  • • Never walk, run, play or take pictures along the railroad tracks. You are likely trespassing. And remember: a train can extend 3 feet, or more, over each side of the rail.
  • • Never attempt to outrun an approaching train. It is hard to determine how fast the train is going.
  • • Trains aren’t as loud as they used to be. If you are standing on the tracks, you may not feel or hear an oncoming train in time to get out of the way.
  • • Only cross the tracks at designated public crossings.
  • • If you see a malfunctioning railroad gate, report it immediately.

Don’t risk your safety around trains. A motorist is more than 20 times more likely to be killed in a collision with a train than in a collision involving another vehicle. And in almost all accidents involving trains, it is either the driver of the vehicle or pedestrian who is at fault.

Helpful safety guidelines:

Operation Clear Track

Operation Lifesaver – Rail Safety Information

Rail Safety Week

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