OLI sets action for Crossing Awareness Day

Written by Douglas John Bowen

Operation Lifesaver, Inc. programs and partners across the U.S. will celebrate International Level Crossing Awareness Day (ILCAD) on Tuesday, May 7, with a variety of events to illustrate the importance of safe behavior at grade crossings and around train tracks.

OLI says statistics show that vehicle-train collisions and injuries at highway-rail grade crossings were lower across the U.S. in 2012, and crossing-related fatalities were flat, but rail trespass deaths and injuries rose. This year, 45 countries worldwide are holding events in observance of ILCAD, the organization says.

“As Operation Lifesaver joins countries around the world in observing the fifth annual International Level Crossing Awareness Day, we take pride in the efforts that have contributed to a continued reduction in U.S. crossing incidents,” said OLI President Joyce Rose. “In the face of growing demand for public transit, passenger and freight rail services, our mission of rail safety education is more relevant than ever.”

Rose said Operation Lifesaver state program leaders and safety partners from the railroad industry, state government agencies, local law enforcement, communities and other groups will participate in activities next week across the U.S. in conjunction with ILCAD. Events include crossing safety community activities, state proclamations, posters and banners, special trains, commuter rail station displays, positive enforcement exercises, outreach to professional truck drivers, school safety presentations, special training events, media interviews, news releases and social media.

“Despite a reduction in vehicle-train collisions, across the U.S. a person or vehicle is hit by a train about every three hours. We are grateful to our safety partners and volunteers for their help in raising awareness to save lives,” Rose stated.

OLI notes 25 states—Alabama, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming —will hold activities in conjunction with ILCAD.