California Operation Lifesaver notes increase in 2018 crossing collisions; pedestrian-train casualties rose from 2017 levels

Preliminary Rail Crossing and Trespass Statistics, 2017 vs. 2018 –                              Source: FRA Office of Safety Analysis

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Sacramento, CA April 11, 2019 – Collisions at highway-rail grade crossings in California rose by 14.5 percent in 2018 and rail trespass casualties (deaths plus injuries) rose 3 percent according to the nonprofit rail safety education organization California Operation Lifesaver, The group cited preliminary 2018 Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) statistics.

“We are concerned with this increase in highway-rail grade crossing collisions,” said California Operation Lifesaver Executive Director Nancy Sheehan. “We will continue our work educating people across California about 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 4.3 percent in 2018, while the number of people killed in crossing incidents stayed constant; however, the number of people injured in crossing incidents declined 2.9 percent last year. Deaths in 2018 from train track trespassing climbed 12 percent, and trespass injuries declined 6.3 percent; total trespass-related casualties (deaths plus injuries) increased 2.8 percent from 2017 levels, Sheehan said.

Overall, California crossing collisions were up 14.5 percent in 2018 from 2017, to 190; crossing fatalities rose 2.6 percent to 39; and crossing injuries rose 6.8 percent to 63, FRA statistics reveal. Trespass fatalities increased 7.9 percent in 2018 to 123, and trespass injuries fell 3.4 percent in 2018 to 86.

“This year, California will participate in September Rail Safety Month and Rail Safety Week, September 22-28,” 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.

About California Operation Lifesaver
California Operation Lifesaver (CAOL, is a non-profit safety education and awareness program dedicated to ending collisions, fatalities and injuries at highway-rail grade crossings and on railroad rights of way in the State of California. Our trained volunteers provide free presentations on rail safety, providing rail safety education to raise awareness to save lives. CAOL leads a statewide observance of September Rail Safety Month as proclaimed by the California Legislature in 2008. We celebrate Rail Safety Week (9/22-9/28) across the nation with Operation Lifesaver ( Follow CAOL on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Blog . Learn more about Rail Safety Week; follow OLI on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.

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