(Indianapolis, IN) – Governor Mike Pence has declared September 11-17, 2016 as Indiana Rail Safety Week. Indiana Operation Lifesaver along with Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin Operation Lifesaver Programs are partnering together for the first Midwest Rail Safety Week. Our hope is to increase public awareness by working together on a multi-state rail safety week. Indiana State Police, Indiana Department of Transportation, local law enforcement and railroad companies have partnered together to raise public awareness about the dangers of disregarding railroad crossings laws and trespassing on railroad property.
“Train versus car collisions are completely preventable,” states Jessica Feder, Executive Director of Indiana Operation Lifesaver. “Indiana law enforcement agencies and railroad special agents will be out monitoring railroad crossings and checking for trespassers during rail safety week. We want the public to know how important it is to pay attention at railroad crossings and that trespassing on railroad tracks and property is dangerous and illegal.”
Indiana Operation Lifesaver has scheduled numerous enforcement blitzes throughout Indiana involving law enforcement agencies. There will also be PSA’s throughout the state, safety information distributed at college campuses, booths at statewide festivals and events, social media blitzes, collision investigation training, messages on the INDOT dynamic highway signs and media coverage of events. Indiana Operation Lifesaver is taking a proactive lead in the elimination of trespassing and pedestrian fatalities at railroad crossings.
In 2015, there were 118 railroad crossing collisions resulting in 39 people injured and 12 fatalities in the state of Indiana. Indiana is currently ranked 4th nationally for railroad crossing collisions. The Hoosier State had 13 trespasser deaths last year as well as 14 injuries.
“We are constantly striving to improve our statistics with both crossing collisions and trespasser incidents,” said Feder. “We encourage everyone to take these warning devices seriously and pay attention at all railroad crossings. It’s the law and it could save your life!”
Indiana Operation Lifesaver is a non-profit organization dedicated to eliminating collisions, deaths and injuries at highway-rail grade intersections and on railroad rights-of-way through public education, engineering and enforcement. To learn more about Indiana Operation Lifesaver, please visit us online at www.oli.org or call (812) 528-4327.