Indianapolis- Governor Mike Pence declared August 23 through August 29, 2015 as Indiana Rail Safety Week. Indiana Operation Lifesaver, Indiana State Police, Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT), 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 Indiana Rail Safety Week. We want the public to know how dangerous it is to try and beat a train 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 public safety announcements throughout the state, safety information distributed at college campuses, posters on SouthShore commuter trains and at stations, and media coverage of events. INDOT will also have rail safety messages on the dynamic message boards along major roads. Indiana Operation Lifesaver is taking a proactive lead in the elimination of trespassing and pedestrian fatalities at railroad crossings.
In 2014, there were 122 railroad crossing collisions resulting in 50 people injured and nine fatalities in the state of Indiana. Indiana is currently ranked 4th nationally for railroad crossing collisions. The Hoosier State had 10 trespasser deaths last year as well as 11 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 them online atwww.oli.org or call (812) 528-4327.