SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — The governor has declared September 19-25th as Rail Safety Week in Illinois. 

During 2021, 20 people in vehicles and 18 pedestrians died at railroad crossings, ranking Illinois fourth in the nation for crossing fatalities. Operation Lifesaver and the Illinois Commerce Commission are sharing tips this week to remain safe near tracks all year long. 

More than 80% of crashes at railroad crossings in 2021 had operational warning devices, such as flashing lights and railroad gates. 

“Most accidents involving trains were preventable,” said Brian Vercruysse, ICC’s Rail Safety Program Administrator. “Educating the public, commercial drivers, students, and others about the dangers associated with highway-rail grade crossings and how to stay safe remains a top priority for our agency.” 

Some rail safety tips from the Secretary of State’s Rules of the Road pamphlet include remaining stopped until the lowered gates are completely raised, and not attempting to go around lowered gates. 

To learn more about railroad safety, you can visit Operation Lifesaver’s website.