Unifying Alabama's Traffic Safety Efforts
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Operation Lifesaver


Operation Lifesaver started in 1972 when the average number of collisions at U.S. highway-rail grade crossings had risen above 12,000 incidents annually. To address this, the Idaho governor's office, along with the Idaho Peace Officers and Union Pacific Railroad launched a six-week public awareness educational campaign called Operation Lifesaver to promote highway-rail grade crossing safety. After Idaho's crossing-related fatalities fell that year by 43%, the successful program was adopted by Nebraska (1973), Kansas and Georgia the following year. Within a decade it had spread around the country; in 1986 a nonprofit national Operation Lifesaver office was created to help support the efforts of state OL programs and raise national awareness on highway-rail grade crossing issues.

Today, Operation Lifesaver's network of certified volunteer speakers and trained instructors offer free rail safety education programs in fifty states. They speak to school groups, driver education classes, community audiences, professional drivers, law enforcement officers, and emergency responders. Operation Lifesaver's programs are co-sponsored by federal, state, and local government agencies, highway safety organizations and America's railroads. Together, with the help of the public, they promote the three E's - education, enforcement, and engineering - to keep people safe around the tracks and railway crossings within our communities.

For more invormation, visit www.oli.org.
Railroad Safety Advocates Hope Task Force Will Help Public Safety
WBRC: Railroad safety advocates want drivers to understand when they come to a railroad crossing, they should think 'danger'.

"Based on 2016 statistics, we currently rank eighth in the nation for the number of vehicle train collisions and number eighth in the number of fatalities," Nancy Hudson, Alabama Operation Lifesaver program said.

The Alabama Task Force on Railway Safety was created recently to look at a variety of issues involving rail safety. This includes the transportation of hazardous materials and possible derailments which occurred in Aliceville back in 2013.

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DOT Launches New Railroad Crossing Safety Ad Campaign
STOP. TRAINS CAN'T.
Rail Grade Crossing Safety
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) launched the Stop! Trains Can’t campaign aimed at young male motorists to make the right choice at railroad crossings. The campaign is the latest in a two-year effort by DOT to reduce accidents, and ultimately fatalities, at railroad crossings around the country.


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) have partnered on the nationwide effort.


Its message is simple: Stop. Trains can’t.


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Railroad Crossings Are the Scene of Several Crashes Each Year in Alabama

When a 30-car freight train hits a car, the vehicles collide with the same force of a car crushing an aluminum soda can, according to Alabama Operation Lifesaver.

Last year there were 2,059 accidents at railroad crossings across the United States, and 90 of those were in Alabama.


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We All Must Do More to Prevent Fatalities at Railroad Crossings

USDOT Federal Railroad Administrator: Over the last six weeks, there have been three significant, tragic railroad crossing incidents. Each took the lives of parents and young children. In San Leandro, California, a mother and her 3-year-old child were killed. In Colorado, a mother, a father and three of their four young children were killed on the way to church. And several days ago in Arkansas, a mother, her son and two other children were killed.

These heartbreaking incidents are in addition to the other 87 people killed and 236 people injured this year at railroad crossings.

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Things to Know In Order to Prevent Railroad Accidents
  • Freight trains do not travel on a predictable schedule; schedules for passenger trains change. Always expect a train at every highway-rail intersection.

  • A train may extend three feet or more outside the steel rail, which makes the safety zone for pedestrians well beyond the rails themselves.

  • Trains cannot stop quickly. It is a simple law of physics: the huge weight and size of the train and the speed of the train dictate how quickly it can stop under ideal conditions. A 100-car freight train traveling at 55 miles per hour will need more than a mile to stop — that's approximately 18 football fields — once the train is set into emergency braking.

  • Never walk down a train track; it's illegal and it's dangerous. By the time a locomotive engineer can see a trespasser or a vehicle on the tracks, it is too late. The train cannot stop quickly enough to avoid a collision.
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Want to Help Operation Lifesaver?
You can become an Operation Lifesaver presenter!

Operation Lifesaver presenters are largely volunteers who donate their time to educating school groups, community organizations, driver education classes, professional drivers at trucking companies, emergency response personnel and law enforcement officers about highway-rail grade crossing safety and pedestrian rail trespass prevention. Other presenters represent local, state and federal government agencies, private companies, railroads, and other organizations.

For more information regarding presenters and becoming a presenter, Click Here

To contact Operation Lifesaver, Click Here

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