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6/1/2005



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

FRA grants $1 million to Operation Lifesaver



Yesterday, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) announced it will grant $1 million to Operation Lifesaver Inc. (OLI). The organization conducts public education and outreach programs designed to reduce crossing and pedestrian accidents, and trespasser incidents, which account for 96 percent of rail-related deaths, according to FRA statistics.

OLI will use the grant to fund programs in more than 40 states, train about 5,000 volunteer presenters and expand a national public-service announcement campaign. The grant supports the U.S. Department of Transportation's recently introduced National Rail Safety Action Plan, part of which aims to increase crossing safety awareness.

Between 1995 and 2004, the number of crossing collisions per million train miles declined from 6.92 to 3.95 and fatalities decreased 36 percent to 368. During the same period, the trespasser casualty rate per million train miles declined from 1.43 to 1.14, but the number of annual trespasser fatalities remained constant at about 500.

“In far too many cases, trespassing and grade crossing accidents are preventable tragedies,” said Acting FRA Administrator Robert Jamison in a prepared statement.



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