Alabama ranks seventh in the nation for the number of collisions involving trains, according to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). In 2021, there were 85 collisions resulting in nine deaths.
This week, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) is raising awareness of railroad crossing safety as part of a national initiative called Operation Clear Track.
ALEA Secretary Hal Taylor will be stationing troopers near railroad crossings and other places during Operation Clear Track. The troopers will spread the word about railroad crossing dangers by handing out educational literature.
"Many of the first responders who are passionate about this initiative are the same men and women who have responded to railroad incidents and have experienced first-hand the tragedy when a life is lost in conjunction with the devastating consequences experienced by that individual's family as well as their community," said Taylor. "Whether on foot or in a vehicle, we want all citizens and local communities to be aware of the risks and empower everyone to make safe choices around railroad tracks and trains."
Amtrak reports, on average, someone is hit by a train in the United States every three hours, including pedestrians, cyclists and motorists. That's why the Amtrak Police Department and Operation Lifesaver, Inc. coordinate an annual safety campaign.
"Trespassing on train tracks is not only dangerous, but it is also illegal in all 50 states," said ALEA's Department of Public Safety director, Colonel Jimmy Helms. "We are proud to be a part of this ongoing safety partnership within the first responder community and do our part in reducing deaths and injuries in order to save lives. Together, we can help stop track tragedies."
Rail Safety Week ends Sunday, September 25.
You can take ALEA's rail safety pledge at alea.gov.
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