California 2020 Rail Safety Statistics – Emphasizing the Need for Rail Safety Education

September and October were a whirlwind for many of us, as both virtual and “in-person’ activities kept our calendars full. This was true for California Operation Lifesaver and now as we are part way through November, we want to share a review of our 2019/2020 statistics.

Based on the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) Office of Safety Analysis, our 2020 California highway-rail grade crossing collisions fell by 14.8 % in 2020 from 2019. Both our grade cross incident fatalities (-20.4%) and injuries (-16.7%) fell over this same time frame. FRA statistics reveal that Trespass casualties (both Injuries and fatalities) increased 10.8 percent in 2020 to 246. Fatalities climbed 1.6 percent to 131 while trespass injuries rose 23.7 percent.

“California Operation Lifesaver is encouraged by the decrease in highway-rail grade crossing collisions, but we are concerned by the steady rise in Trespass casualties” expressed CAOL Executive Director Nancy Sheehan. “These statistics emphasize the importance of the work we do to educate people across California on how to keep themselves, their friends, and their families safe near tracks and trains to avoid these preventable tragedies,” said Sheehan.

CAOL is fortunate to have a team of trained Authorized Volunteer Presenters who are prepared to continue providing rail safety education across California.
We are fortunate for our Rail Safety Partners who support CAOL, participate in our year-round campaigns, who recognize the need to continue raising awareness and have a mutual commitment to rail safety. Together this diverse team opens the door to unlimited opportunities that can increase awareness and change dangerous behaviors.

We can enhance our Mission by growing rail safety partnerships and creating proactive rail safe California communities.

Stay tuned for more updates as we share the ways and the work that we do to provide our rail safety education to save lives.

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