Shouldn’t have to tell you to be safe around trains

This came in from Operation LIfesaver.

Operation Lifesaver Releases Common Sense Rail Safety Tips

BENTON, AR, September 4, 2009 – In light of three vehicle-train crashes across Arkansas this week, the rail safety group Operation Lifesaver reminds Arkansans to use caution when around tracks and trains this holiday weekend.

“Trains are still operating, even on the holiday,” says Sheryl Dudley, Arkansas Operation Lifesaver State Coordinator, “so it’s important to look and listen for a train if you are driving near highway-rail grade-crossings or walking near the tracks this weekend.” Motorists and pedestrians can expect a train at any time, on any track, and should refrain from using cell phones, texting or using MP3 players when near the tracks, according to Dudley.

Arkansas is among the top 15 states nationwide for collisions at highway-rail grade-crossings. Preliminary Federal Railroad Administration statistics show there were 69 vehicle-train collisions in Arkansas last year, resulting in 7 deaths and 21 injuries; an additional 3 state residents were killed and 6 injured in pedestrian-train incidents.

“Approximately every two hours across the U.S., a person or vehicle is hit by a train,” notes Helen M. Sramek, president of the national Operation Lifesaver, Inc. “Operation Lifesaver has a simple message: staying away from the tracks is using common sense, and it may save your life.” Visit the new Common Sense campaign website: http://www.CommonSenseuseIt.com.

Common Sense Rail Safety Tips for Drivers

1.   Look both ways and listen before crossing train tracks.  Expect a train at any time.

2.  Refrain from distractions like texting or talking on a cell phone when you’re near train tracks.  Trains are quieter than you think and move faster than they appear.

3.  Never drive around lowered gates — it’s illegal and deadly. If you suspect a signal is malfunctioning, call the 1-800 number posted on or near the crossing signal or your local law enforcement agency.

4.  Never race a train to the crossing — even if you tie, you lose.

5.  Trains can’t stop quickly, due to their size and weight – a freight train moving at 55 miles per hour can take a mile or more to stop once the emergency brakes are applied. That’s 18 football fields!

6. Do not get trapped on the tracks. Only proceed through a highway-rail grade crossing if you are sure you can completely clear the crossing without stopping. Remember, the train is three feet wider than the tracks on both sides.

About Operation Lifesaver

Operation Lifesaver, Inc. 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. Operation Lifesaver has programs in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. For more safety tips or to schedule a free safety presentation in your community, click on http://www.oli.org.

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About patlynch
I am a broadcaster in Arkansas, a former freelance writer and political columnist in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Writing Coach. Speaker. Director of the Christian Foundations for Ministry program, and presently enrolled in the Anglican School of Ministry Master of Ministry program.

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