Utah law enforcement stepping up rail safety precautions

Sep 18, 2023, 7:01 PM | Updated: 10:32 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Transit Authority is giving a wake-up call regarding safety around railroads, showcasing some terrifying, extremely close calls.

Vern Keeslar, state coordinator with Utah Operation Lifesaver, said multiple organizations will join forces for activities all week long.

“We need to be a bit more dramatic. We need to show the impact that it has. It affects families, communities, schools, entire neighborhoods,” Keeslar said.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, more than 5,000 accidents happen yearly near railroad crossings.

“We have been successful in bringing down rail collisions by 82% in the last 50 years. In the last ten years, we have seen an increase of these incidents occurring,” Keeslar said.

He said each year, there are nearly 600 deaths and 23000 injuries from accidents near railroads.

“We even have more warning devices than ever before, and yet people are either complacent or distracted driving,” Keeslar said.

However, time and time again, law enforcement sees people failing to pay attention to the signs and signals at railroad crossings.

“Pedestrians trespassing on railroad property, disregarding crossing signals or parking too close to railroads, disregard for these violations can have consequences and end in tragedy,” said Sgt. Cameron Roden with Utah Highway Patrol.

Roden said to avoid tragedies, Rail Safety Week encourages people walking, biking, or driving to make safe decisions around tracks and trains.

“We need your help when it comes to rail safety. We can’t do this alone. We can’t enforce our way out of this,” he said.

KSL 5 TV Live

Accidents & Injuries

Christensen's car after the crash with the moose....

Kiersten Nunez

Utah woman lucky to be alive after crash with moose

A woman is lucky to be alive after a nearly 2,000-pound moose crashed into her windshield Sunday night. 

2 days ago

The crown of an avalanche triggered on Little Water Peak near Millcreek Canyon is pictured on Monda...

Michael Houck

Skier severely injured following avalanche near Little Water Peak

A woman needed to be hoisted out of Little Water Peak after being hurt after an avalanche Monday afternoon.

2 days ago

FILE (Mark Wetzel, KSL TV)...

Michael Houck

Tanker with open lid spills oil on I-15 ramp in West Haven

Hazmat crews are cleaning up an oil and fuel spill on a freeway ramp after a semitrailer turned with an open lid Monday afternoon.

2 days ago

Police said Sunday there were no injuries after a vehicle went off the road and struck a house in s...

Mark Jones

No injuries reported as vehicle leaves the road and strikes a home in southern Utah

Police said there were no injuries after a vehicle went off the road and struck a house in southern Utah on Sunday morning.

3 days ago

The family of a St. George man hit and killed by an alleged driver under the influence is disappoin...

Brianna Chavez

Family of St. George man killed by alleged DUI driver react to plea deal

The family of a St. George man hit and killed by an alleged driver under the influence is disappointed after the accused driver was sentenced to one year in jail.

3 days ago

emergency lights...

Mark Jones, KSL TV and Cassidy Wixom,

17-year-old dies following Lehi motorcycle crash

A 17-year-old boy died after the motorcycle he was riding hit another vehicle Saturday afternoon, according to the Lehi Police Department.

4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Utah law enforcement stepping up rail safety precautions