Preliminary Rail Crossing and Trespass Statistics, 2016 vs. 2017
Source: FRA Office of Safety Analysis
Sacramento, California March 15, 2018 – Collisions at highway-rail grade crossings in California fell by 1.2 percent in 2017 and rail trespass casualties (deaths plus injuries) rose 18.9 % according to the nonprofit rail safety education organization California Operation Lifesaver (CAOL, http://www.caol.us). CAOL cited preliminary 2017 Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) statistics.
“We are gratified, that there was a small reduction in highway-rail grade crossing collisions,” said California Operation Lifesaver State Coordinator Nancy Sheehan. “We are concerned with the increase in Trespasser casualties. More work is needed, and we will continue our efforts giving people across California important information on how to keep themselves, their friends and their families safe near tracks and trains to avoid these preventable tragedies,” said Sheehan.
Nationally, vehicle-train collisions at highway-rail grade crossings rose 3.1 percent in 2017, and the number of people killed in crossing incidents rose 7.4 percent; however, the number of people injured in crossing incidents declined 4.3 percent last year. Deaths in 2017 from train track trespassing climbed 22.3 percent, and trespass injuries increased 4.6 percent; total trespass-related casualties (deaths plus injuries) increased 13.3 percent from 2016 levels, Sheehan said.
FRA statistics reveal, overall, California crossing collisions were down 1.2% percent in 2017 from 2016, to 166; crossing fatalities fell 15.8 percent to 38; and crossing injuries fell 12.3 percent to 57.
Trespass fatalities increased 33.7 percent in 2017 to 123, and trespass injuries rose 3.4 percent in 2017 to 91.
“In 2018 California Operation Lifesaver will once again participate in California Rail Safety Month in September and U.S. Rail Safety Week, September 23-29,” Sheehan continued. “We look forward to working with existing and new safety partners to raise awareness among California residents of the need to always use caution near crossings and refrain from trespassing on the tracks.” she concluded.
About California Operation Lifesaver
California Operation Lifesaver is a nonprofit public safety education and awareness organization dedicated to reducing collisions, fatalities and injuries at highway-rail crossings and preventing trespassing on or near railroad tracks. Our network of trained volunteers gives free presentations on rail safety and a public awareness campaign, “See Tracks? Think Train!” provides the public with tips and statistics to encourage safe behavior near the tracks. Learn more at www.caol.us, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Blog or at http://www.oli.org.
Nancy Sheehan-McCulloch – State Coordinator