Operation Lifesaver Notes Rise in Rail-Related Deaths, Injuries

Safety Education Nonprofit Says Distraction a Factor

WASHINGTON, July 31, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Rail safety education nonprofit Operation Lifesaver today noted that, while highway-rail crossing collisions are down slightly, deaths and injuries from crossing crashes and pedestrian-train incidents rose in the first four months of 2012 compared to the same period in 2011.

"Federal Railroad Administration statistics show that grade crossing crashes are 1.4 percent lower in the first four months of this year; however, the increase in deaths and injuries from crossing collisions and pedestrian-train trespass incidents is a very troubling trend," said Operation Lifesaver Inc., (http://www.oli.org) President Helen M. Sramek.

Sramek noted that since 1997, more people have been killed while trespassing on tracks than from vehicle-train collisions at railroad crossings, according to FRA statistics.

"Based on news accounts of incidents, texting, headphones and other distractions appear to be part of the problem," she continued. "Increasing public awareness of the need for caution near train tracks is important. Our recent public service advertising campaigns caution pedestrians to eliminate distractions around train tracks: stay focused, stay alive," Sramek concluded.

The latest FRA statistics are below. See Operation Lifesaver's pedestrian safety public service announcement at http://bit.ly/u8AZRE.

Phone 703.739.0284, toll-free 800-537-6224                  
email medwards@oli.org

Operation Lifesaver (www.oli.org) is a national, non-profit safety education group whose goal is to eliminate deaths and injuries at railroad crossings and along railroad rights of way. It has programs in all 50 states with trained presenters who provide free talks to raise the public's safety awareness around tracks and trains. 

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