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Viral video highlights dangers of rail trespass

(Source: Operation Lifesaver press release, July 31, 2014)

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The following is a statement by Joyce Rose, President and CEO of Operation Lifesaver, regarding a viral video from the Indiana Rail Road Company of two women who were trespassing on a rail bridge outside Indianapolis.

"The Indiana Rail Road video of two women trespassing on a train trestle who miraculously escaped injury or death by an oncoming train underscores why we at Operation Lifesaver tell pedestrians never to trespass on railroad tracks or bridges. This amazing viral video could have easily been instead another gruesome reminder about the dangers of rail trespass.

"Government statistics show rail trespassing fatalities rose 7.2 percent from 2012 to 2013; incidents in the first four months of 2014 are trending higher still. About every three hours in the U.S., a person or vehicle is hit by a train.

"The rise in trespass incidents is one reason behind our new national public awareness safety campaign, “See Tracks? Think Train!” that focuses on trespass prevention, crossing safety and avoiding distraction around rail and transit lines.

"The video PSA is airing on television stations around the country. Our top safety tips for staying safe near tracks and trains are below. Additional materials and PSAs are available at the campaign website, www.SeeTracksThinkTrain.org, or visit www.oli.org for more information on rail safety."

Operation Lifesaver's Top Five Safety Tips for Pedestrians

• Cross tracks ONLY at designated pedestrian or roadway crossings; never walk along train tracks OR use them for a shortcut.

• Railroad tracks, trestles, yards and equipment are private property and trespassers are subject to arrest and fine.

• It can take a mile or more to stop a train, so a locomotive engineer who suddenly sees someone on the tracks will likely be unable to stop in time.

• Do not hunt, fish or bungee jump from railroad trestles. There is only enough clearance on the tracks for a train to pass.

• Be aware trains do not follow set schedules. Always expect a train on any track at any time.

About Operation Lifesaver, Inc.

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 http://www.oli.org; follow OLI on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

Friday, August 01, 2014

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