ISP Participate In Rail Safety Initiative

Illinois State Police (ISP) have announced its partnership with local, state and federal agencies to promote vehicle and pedestrian safety around railroad tracks and trains for the fifth consecutive year, during Rail Safety Week. This focused initiative will take place September 23-29, 2018.

Captain Ristvedt’s plans for education and enforcement efforts throughout the week, focus on injury and fatality prevention. Drivers and pedestrians who disobey the laws associated with railroad grade crossings and railroad property will be cited. In addition to enforcement efforts, the ISP is also committed to changing behavior through education. Officers will be distributing literature to the public that contains rail safety information.

“Motorists and pedestrians must be ever vigilant in regards to their own safety”, said Captain Ristvedt. “Trains may be traveling faster than they appear, due to their large size. Never stop a vehicle on the tracks and avoid recreational activities on or near the railroad tracks”, he added.

When crossing railroad tracks, motorists must always obey the law and be aware of surroundings. Law prohibits vehicles from stopping on the railroad tracks and anywhere within the highway-rail grade crossing. Highway-rail grade crossings are typically marked by white stop lines located on the pavement in advance of the crossing. If not marked by white stop lines, the highway-rail grade crossing extends from protective gate arm to protective gate arm. Inclusively, it is illegal for pedestrians to go around a protective gate or disobey warning lights or bells.

In 2017, there were over 2,100 railroad crossing collisions involving motor vehicles nationwide, which resulted in over 800 injuries and over 270 fatalities. In 2017, there were over 100 railroad crossing collisions in Illinois involving motor vehicles; these collisions resulted in 29 injuries and 25 fatalities. Additionally, there were 46 trespassing incidents on railroad property in Illinois, which resulted in 26 injuries and 20 fatalities. In 2017, Illinois ranked 2nd in the nation in grade crossing fatalities and 7th in the nation in trespassing fatalities.

For more information on Rail Safety Week please visit: https://oli.org/about-us/news/rail-safety-week-2017.

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