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Rail News: Safety

AAR, international rail community honor crossing awareness day


Today, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) and the international rail community are marking the 8th Annual International Level Crossing Awareness Day.

This year's theme focuses on raising public awareness among senior citizens and persons with sensory and mobility restrictions. Some of the nation's largest railroads, more than 40 countries and numerous international railroad organizations and companies are participating in the event, according to an AAR press release.

"The freight rail industry believes there is no greater priority than safety and federal statistics show rail safety has been dramatically improving over the last three decades with a decrease in grade crossing collisions in 2015," said AAR President and Chief Executive Officer Edward Hamberger. "Unfortunately, there are still too many fatalities that occur at grade crossings and virtually all of them are preventable."

U.S. railroads are partnering with local law enforcement agencies, community leaders and Operation Lifesaver Inc. to bring attention to grade crossing safety and awareness in more than 15 states.

Latvian Railways, Operation Lifesaver Estonia and the International Union of Railways will host an international conference in Riga, Latvia, on how to improve safety at and around grade crossings.

The organizations also will join experts from different sectors and countries on a technical visit to Tallinn, Estonia. During the conference, participants will discuss awareness, engineering, inspection, risk management and cooperation between railroads and infrastructure managers, local authorities and the media.