State of Illinois Proclaims September 13th – 19th Illinois Rail Safety Week

(SPRINGFIELD, IL) — The State of Illinois has declared September 13th to 19th as Illinois Rail Safety Week in order to promote vehicle and pedestrian safety around railroad tracks and trains. In Illinois during 2014, there were 134 crossing collisions involving motor vehicles, which resulted in 55 injuries and 24 fatalities. In addition, there were 48 trespasser incidents that resulted in 19 injuries and 29 fatalities when people trespassed on to railroad property. During 2014, Illinois ranked 2nd in the nation in vehicle collision fatalities and 5th in the nation in trespasser fatalities. To promote rail safety awareness and education, the Illinois Operation Lifesaver will be participating with nearly 400 other departments, municipalities and law enforcement agencies during this Illinois Rail Safety Week campaign. Enforcement details are planned throughout the state at various railroad grade crossings and commuter stations to cite both drivers and pedestrians who disobey the laws associated with railroad grade crossings and railroad property. In addition, police officers will be distributing literature to the public that contains information on how to be safe around trains and train tracks. According to the Illinois Commerce Commission, more than 67 percent of all collisions occur at crossings with active warning devices (flashing lights, gates, and ringing bells). For more information about Illinois Rail Safety Week, please visit http://www.illinoisrailsafetyweek.org.