(Video/Operation Lifesaver)

With 11 dead and more than three dozen injured from train collisions last year in Georgia, Operation Lifesaver is determined to make a dent in those figures.

Operation Lifesaver is a nonprofit education and awareness organization dedicated to reducing collisions, fatalities and injuries at highway-rail crossings.

From Sept. 22-28, 2019, they have organized Rail Safety week.

Jennie Glasgow, Georgia Operation Lifesaver state coordinator, said all 50 states and Canada are participating in Rail Safety week.

Each day this week focuses on a different message and activity. Today, the organization will focus on Law Enforcement Partnerships. Local, state, federal and railroad police around the nation will be stationed at railroad grade crossing and trespassing incident locations handing out safety materials to drivers and enforcing crossing and trespassing laws.

Glasgow explains what Rail Safety week is and how it can bring awareness to train safety.

 

From 2015 to today, 33 people have died in highway railroad collisions in Georgia. Fulton County has the most deaths with six fatalities, while Coweta and Dekalb each have three.

Operation Lifesaver compiled a list of driving safety tips for drivers. 

Safety Tips

-Always expect a train. Freight trains do not follow set schedules.
-If you suspect a signal is malfunctioning, call the 1-800 number posted on or near the crossing signal or your local law enforcement agency.
-Do not get trapped on the tracks. Only proceed through a highway-rail grade crossing if you are sure you can completely clear the crossing without stopping.
-If your vehicle stalls on a crossing, immediately get everyone out and far away from the tracks. Call your local law enforcement agency for assistance. Look for a 1-800 emergency notification number nearby to contact the railroad.

Francisco Guzman is a senior majoring in journalism in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Georgia.

 

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