DUQUOIN - For the fifth consecutive year, Illinois State Police District 13 Commander, Captain Derek Wise, announces District 13 is partnering with local, state and federal agencies to promote vehicle and pedestrian safety around railroad tracks and trains during Rail Safety Week, which is taking place September 23-29, 2018.

To promote rail safety awareness and education and prevent injuries and fatalities, Captain Wise has planned enforcement details throughout the week at various railroad grade crossings. Drivers and pedestrians who disobey the laws associated with railroad grade crossings and railroad property will be cited. In addition to enforcement efforts, the ISP is also committed to changing behavior through education. Officers will be distributing literature to the public that contains rail safety information.

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“Trains do not run on set schedules and can appear at any time on active tracks,” added Captain Wise. “Motorist should stay vigilant when approaching a crossing, reduce their speed, watch for flashing lights and lowered arms, and never stop on the tracks.”

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When crossing railroad tracks, motorists must always obey the law and b aware of your surroundings. Please remember, its against the law to stop your vehicle on the railroad tracks and anywhere within the highway-rail grade crossing. Highway-rail grade crossings are typically marked by white stop lines located on the pavement in advance of the crossing, and if not marked by white stop lines, the highway-rail grade crossing extends from protective gate arm to protective gate arm. Please also remember it is against the law for pedestrians to around a protective gate or disobey warning lights or bells.

In 2017, there were over 2,100 railroad crossing collisions involving motor vehicles nationwide, which resulted in over 800 injuries and over 270 fatalities. In 2017, there were over 100 railroad crossing collisions in Illinois involving motor vehicles; these collisions resulted in 29 injuries and 25 fatalities. In addition, there were 46 trespassing incidents on railroad property in Illinois, which resulted in 26 injuries and 20 fatalities. In 2017, Illinois ranked 2nd in the nation in grade crossing fatalities and 7th in the nation in trespassing fatalities.

For more information on Rail Safety Week please visit: https://oli.org/about-us/news/rail-safety-week-2017.

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