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Rail News Home Safety

3/8/2012



Rail News: Safety

Operation Lifesaver: Crossing collisions and trespassing fatalities fell, but collision deaths climbed in 2011


In 2011, grade crossing collisions declined 3 percent to 1,956, pedestrian trespassing fatalities dropped 1.4 percent to 428 and trespassing injuries decreased 10.8 percent to 346 compared with 2010 figures, according to preliminary Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) data.

Sustained public education efforts, engineering improvements and law enforcement programs contributed to fewer vehicle-train collisions and pedestrian-train fatalities and injuries last year, Operation Lifesaver Inc. (OLI) officials said in a prepared statement.

However, fatalities caused by vehicle-train collisions in 2011 increased 2.3 percent to 262, and injuries caused by the collisions climbed 12.9 percent to 964, according to preliminary FRA data. About every three hours in the United States, a person or vehicle is hit by a train, according to OLI.

“Collisions between vehicles and trains at railroad crossings were lower last year, which is encouraging, but we are concerned with the rise in crossing deaths and injuries from these incidents,” said OLI President Helen Sramek. “Operation Lifesaver, in partnership with major freight railroads, commuter- and light-rail systems, state and local law enforcement, and transportation agencies, will continue to encourage Americans to make safe decisions around tracks and trains.”

States that registered the most crossing collisions in 2011 were California, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana and Texas; states posting the most pedestrian-train casualties (deaths and injuries combined) were California, Florida, Illinois, New York and Texas.


Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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