SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — Illinois State Police (ISP) has announced that it’s signing on to a nationwide rail-safety initiative by several law enforcement agencies.
Dubbed ‘Operation Clear Track’, its goal is to lower the number of railway crossing and trespassing incidents in the United States and Canada.
A press release from ISP says more than 2,100 people each year are killed by those events.
“It can take more than a mile for a train to make a complete stop, but it is easy for a vehicle to stop,” said ISP District 9 Commander Cpt. J.W. Price. “Please do your part to avoid a senseless tragedy. Always stop, look, and listen before crossing. Never ignore signals or try to drive around a lowering gate.”
“We continue to educate the public regarding the dangers associated with railroad crossings, in the hopes of changing behaviors which will undoubtedly save lives,” said ISP District 10 Commander Cpt. Louis Kink. “Pay attention to the warning lights and never go around a lowered railroad crossing gate.”
The event is held during the observance of Rail Safety Week from Sept. 21-27, and is coordinated by Amtrak and Operation Lifesaver, Inc (OLI). It will be held virtually, because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“The goal of Operation Clear Track and Rail Safety Week is to raise awareness of the importance of safe behavior near tracks and trains, in support of OLI’s mission to save lives,” said OLI Executive Director Rachel Maleh.
ISP says police agencies across the U.S. and Canada will promote rail safety through social media messages, by sharing OLI #STOPTrackTragedies public service announcements and other videos, and by publishing other rail safety information.
The release says police departments will emphasize the importance of obeying rail crossing and trespassing laws throughout rail safety week.