Rail Safety Week: GoRail Urges Caution Around Railroad Tracks

Stopping Track Tragedies

A sad statistic unknown by most: a person or vehicle is struck by a train every three hours in the United States. In fact, 95% of all rail-related deaths involve drivers going through a crossing or a person on the tracks. When this tragedy occurs, lives are changed forever—for the people involved in the crash, their family, friends and community, and the train crew members. In 2018, South Carolina was 15th in the nation for rail fatalities with 12.

Fortunately, these accidents are preventable. This week marks the third annual U.S. Rail Safety Week (Sept. 22-28), a national event coordinated by Operation Lifesaver, Inc. in partnership with the U.S. Department of Transportation and other safety organizations. The goal of the week, this year themed “Stop Track Tragedies,” is to raise awareness and teach the public how to stay safe near railroad tracks.

Here are four rail safety tips:

  1. Never try to beat a train—any approaching train is always closer, moving faster, than you think
  2. Always expect a train—freight trains don't travel at fixed times and passenger schedules change
  3. Look and listen for trains as you approach a crossing—obey all signs, warning lights and gates
  4. Trains can’t stop quickly—it can take a mile or more to stop a train

Won’t you join us in our goal to make caution around railroad tracks as automatic for drivers and pedestrians as buckling a seatbelt?

Christy Sammon, South Carolina State Director for GoRail.  www.gorail.org