Preliminary Rail Crossing and Trespass Statistics, 2016 vs. 2015
Source: FRA Office of Safety Analysis
Graeagle CA March 17, 2017 – Collisions at highway-rail grade crossings in California rose by 11.3 percent in 2016 and rail trespass casualties (deaths plus injuries) rose according to the nonprofit rail safety education organization California Operation Lifesaver. The group cited preliminary 2016 Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) statistics.
“We are concerned with this increase in highway-rail grade crossing collisions,” said California Operation Lifesaver State Coordinator Nancy Sheehan. “We will continue our work giving people across California important information on how to keep themselves, their friends and their families safe near tracks and trains,” Sheehan said.
Nationally, vehicle-train collisions at highway-rail grade crossings fell 2.4 percent in 2016; however, the number of people killed in crossing incidents rose 13.7 percent last year. Deaths in 2016 from train track trespassing increased 12.8 percent, and trespass injuries jumped 16.4 percent; total trespass-related casualties (deaths plus injuries) increased 14.5 percent from 2015 levels, Sheehan explained.
Overall, California’s crossing collisions rose from 150 in 2015 to 167 in 2016. FRA statistics reveal that California crossing fatalities rose 79.3 percent to 52; and crossing injuries rose 11.1 percent to 50. Trespass fatalities increased 17.4 percent in 2016 to 101, and trespass injuries rose 73.1 percent in 2016 to 90.
“This year, we will again honor September Rail Safety Month in California and we will participate in the U.S. Rail Safety Week, September 24-30,” state coordinator Sheehan continued. We look forward to working with our 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.
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 [state website URL, Facebook or Twitter link] or at http://www.oli.org.