Facts about Train Safety ● Every two hours, a person in a motor vehicle or a pedestrian walking on a track or railroad right-of-way is struck by a train somewhere in the U.S. In most cases, these incidents are avoidable, making them even more tragic. ● In 2006, there were 2,897 collisions at railroad crossings across America, and 362 motorists lost their lives. In Florida, there were 116 collisions, 10 fatalities, and 34 injuries. ● Motorists are not the only ones who need to take care along train tracks. In 2006, 996 people were injured or killed across the United States while walking or playing on railroad tracks, rail equipment, or the right of way along train tracks. Those numbers include 30 Floridians who lost their lives and 20 who were injured but survived. ● Even a single injury is one too many, and Operation Lifesaver’s nationwide network of volunteers works to educate people about rail safety. Since OLI’s inception, collisions at highway-rail grade crossings have dropped from more than 12,000 in 1972 to less than 3,000 last year. Train Safety Tips o Look, listen, and live! The only safe place to be on a train track is at a designated crossing, and even there, it is important to stay alert and obey all warning signs and signals. o Trains can’t swerve and take a long time to stop. The average 12 million pound train moving at 55 miles per hour can take a mile or more to stop after emergency brakes are applied. o Stay away from the tracks. Walking, biking, or playing on or around railroad tracks, or taking an unmarked shortcut across railroad tracks is not only illegal trespassing, it’s dangerous. o Trains are wider than their tracks. The average train is at least three feet wider than the track on each side – and standing on or stopping your car too close to the tracks can be a deadly mistake. o Any time is train time. Freight trains do not follow set schedules and passenger train schedules change. o If your vehicle gets stuck on the tracks, get out and get away. Once you are away from the tracks, look for an emergency notification number posted near the crossing and notify local law enforcement. ● Operation Lifesaver is a national, non-profit safety education group whose goal is to eliminate deaths and injuries at railroad crossings and along railroad rights-of-way. The program’s 3,000 certified presenters and volunteers throughout the U.S. and Canada are trained to give free safety talks to community groups, schools, school bus drivers, truck drivers and community organizations to raise safety awareness of the need for caution around railroad tracks and trains. More information can be found on our website (www.oli.org) or by contacting Florida’s State Coordinator, Gary Fitzpatrick, firstname.lastname@example.org, 850-414-4541.