Operation Lifesaver notes reduction in California 2014 crossing collisions; pedestrian-train casualties rose from 2013 levels


Operation Lifesaver notes reduction in California 2014 crossing collisions; pedestrian-train casualties rose from 2013 levels

Portola,CA March 11, 2015 – Collisions at highway-rail grade crossings collisions in California fell by 12.3% in 2014 and rail trespass casualties rose according to the nonprofit rail safety education organization California Operation Lifesaver, http://www.caol.us.  The group cited preliminary 2014 Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) statistics.

Crossing Statistics, California Totals Trespass Statistics, California Totals
Collisions Deaths Injuries All Casualties Deaths Injuries
2013 146 37 76 2013 119 68 51
2014 128 33 45 2014 154 101 53
% Change -12.3 -10.8 -40.8 % Change 29.4 48.5 3.9

Source: Federal Railroad Administration Office of Safety; preliminary 2013 and 2014 statistics

“We are gratified with this reduction in highway-rail grade crossing collisions,” said California Operation Lifesaver State Coordinator Nancy Sheehan. “Educating a distracted public in order to reduce trespassing injuries and fatalities continues to be a challenge.”

Across the U.S., vehicle-train collisions and deaths at highway-rail grade crossings and from pedestrians trespassing on railroad tracks rose in 2014, while crossing-related injuries and rail trespass injuries were lower compared to 2013, Sheehan said.

Overall, California crossing collisions were down 12.3 percent in 2014 from 2013, to 128; crossing fatalities fell 10.8 percent to 33; and crossing injuries fell 40.8 percent to 45, FRA statistics reveal. Fatalities to persons trespassing on railroad tracks and property increased 48.5 percent in 2014 to 101, and trespass injuries rose 3.9 percent from 2013 to 53.
“These preliminary 2014 statistics show the continuing need to raise public awareness through our national ‘See Tracks? Think Train!’ campaign,” Sheehan stated. “Operation Lifesaver, in partnership with major freight railroads, commuter and light rail systems, state and local law enforcement, and transportation agencies, will be expanding the campaign and developing new educational materials to encourage Americans to make safe decisions around tracks and trains,” she concluded.

Operation Lifesaver’s mission is to end collisions, deaths and injuries at highway-rail grade crossings and along railroad rights of way. A national network of trained volunteers provides free presentations on rail safety. Learn more at www.caol.us ; https://www.facebook.com/CAOperationLifesaver    or https://twitter.com/CAOpLifeSaver or at http://www.oli.org.


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