Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Amtrak and OLI "Clear the Track"

Written by 
Amtrak and OLI "Clear the Track" Connor Harris

Amtrak and Operation Lifesaver Inc. (OLI) kicked off Rail Safety Week this morning with the assembly of its Operation Clear the Track.

In observation of U.S. Rail Safety Week, Amtrak Police and OLI mobilized Operation Clear Track this morning, the largest simultaneous railroad safety law enforcement operation ever attempted in the United States, involving more than 200 police or sheriff's departments across the lower 48 states.

During the operation, local, state, federal and railroad law enforcement officials were stationed at each state's high incident grade crossings based on preliminary data from the Federal Railroad Administration. Once on-site, officers enforced their grade crossing laws and issue warnings and citations to violators. Law enforcement personnel also distributed more than 240,000 railroad safety cards to motorists and pedestrians at those crossings.

"It's critical that citizens in every corner of the country fully understand the dangers and consequences of trespassing on railroad property," Amtrak Police Chief Neil Trugman said. "By mobilizing our forces, we hope to raise awareness, save lives and prevent injuries along the railroad rights-of-way from coast to coast."

According to OLI, a national rail safety education nonprofit organization, each year approximately 2,000 people are killed or injured in grade crossing and trespassing incidents nationwide. Every three hours, a person or vehicle is hit by a train.

"We are proud to partner with our local law enforcement agencies to raise public awareness about using caution near train tracks, and never using the tracks as a shortcut," Operation Lifesaver President and CEO Bonnie Murphy said. "While crossing collisions have dropped 83 percent since the first Operation Lifesaver program was started 45 years ago, this unprecedented enforcement and education event will further our mission to eliminate these preventable tragedies."