Rail safety awareness week declared by Indiana Governor Holcomb

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Governor Eric Holcomb has declared September 24th-30th  as Indiana Rail Safety Week in conjunction with U.S. Rail Safety Week that will take place in all 50 states.

According to the Governor’s office, the goal is to increase rail safety awareness by working together on national rail safety week. Indiana State Police, Indiana Department of Transportation, local law enforcement and railroad companies have partnered together to raise awareness about the dangers of disregarding railroad crossing laws and trespassing on railroad property.

“Train versus car collisions are completely preventable,” states Jessica Feder, Executive Director, Indiana Operation Lifesaver.  “Indiana law enforcement agencies and railroad special agents will be out monitoring railroad crossings and checking for trespassers during rail safety week. We want the public to know how important it is to pay attention at railroad crossings and that trespassing on railroad tracks and property is dangerous and illegal.”

Indiana Operation Lifesaver has scheduled numerous enforcement blitzes throughout the state involving law enforcement agencies. There will also be PSA’s throughout the state, safety information distributed at college campuses, booths at statewide festivals and events, social media campaigns, messages on the INDOT dynamic highway signs, banners on train locomotives and “See Tracks? Think Train!” signs at crossings where multiple train versus vehicle collisions have occurred. Indiana Operation Lifesaver is taking a proactive lead in the elimination of crossing collisions and trespasser fatalities.

In 2016, there were 116 railroad crossing collisions resulting in 36 people injured and 10 fatalities in the state of Indiana. Indiana is currently ranked 4th nationally for railroad crossing collisions. The Hoosier State had seven trespasser deaths last year as well as 12 injuries.

“We are constantly striving to improve our statistics with both crossing collisions and trespasser incidents,” said Jessica Feder. “We encourage everyone to take these warning devices seriously and pay attention at all railroad crossings. It’s the law and it could save your life!”

Indiana Operation Lifesaver is a non-profit organization dedicated to eliminating collisions, deaths and injuries at highway-rail grade intersections and on railroad rights-of-way through public education, engineering and enforcement.

Hoosiers can  learn more about Indiana Operation Lifesaver by visiting the Operation Lifesaver website at www.oli.org or by calling 812-528-4327.