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Rail News: Safety

Illinois to launch inaugural rail safety week on Sunday


Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn last week issued a proclamation declaring Sept. 14-20 as the state's first-ever rail safety week.

Developed by rail industry, law enforcement and other transportation stakeholders, the event aims to promote vehicle and pedestrian safety around tracks and trains to help prevent fatalities.

In 2013, 126 grade crossing collisions occurred in Illinois that caused 21 fatalities and 40 injuries. In addition, 52 trespassing incidents resulted in 25 fatalities and 27 injuries. Illinois ranked third in the nation last year in both vehicle collision and trespasser fatalities.

During the inaugural rail safety week, educational and enforcement activities will take place at various crossings and commuter-rail stations throughout the state. Police officers will cite drivers and pedestrians who disobey crossing and trespassing laws, and distribute safety literature to the public.

A total of 246 constituents have committed to participating in the event, including the Federal Railroad Administration, all 21 Illinois State Police districts, 26 counties, 13 railroads and railroad police departments, 182 municipal police agencies, two fire departments and five private associations.

Participating railroads include Amtrak, Alton & Southern Railway, Belt Railway Co. of Chicago, BNSF Railway Co., CN, CSX Transportation, Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad Co., Norfolk Southern Railway, Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis and Union Pacific Railroad. Organizers have secured sponsors such as the Illinois Department of Transportation, Illinois Commerce Commission, Illinois Operation Lifesaver, CN Railroad Police Department and Mid-west Truckers Association.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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