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Metra announced it has scheduled Operation Lifesaver “safety blitzes” at 51 of its 242 stations in the Chicago area this year.
To help promote rail safety awareness and prevent fatalities and injuries, Metra develops an annual schedule of safety blitzes throughout the Chicago area. During a blitz, Metra employees visit one station during the morning rush hour to distribute educational materials and talk to commuters about their safety concerns.
The commuter railroad invites law enforcement officers, first responders and public officials to participate. The first blitz is scheduled for March 10 at the Blue Island station.
“As customers return to their commuting routines, these safety blitzes allow us to reach them directly to ensure that they understand the need to stay vigilant about safety anytime they’re around the railroad,” said Metra CEO and Executive Director Jim Derwinski in a press release.
Metra is the second-largest U.S. commuter-rail system with more than 7,300 miles of track and 10,264 public crossings. In 2020, the state of Illinois ranked fourth in train-vehicle collisions at crossings and fifth in trespassing fatalities. Federal Railroad Administration data shows that between January and November 2021, 22 people died and 28 were injured in crossing incidents, while 19 people died and 17 were injured in trespassing incidents in Illinois.