Nationwide initiative raises awareness and enforces railroad crossing safety in Delaware

If you were driving around Delaware, you may have seen some officers near railroad tracks, stopping cars. 

What looks like a regular traffic stop is actually a way to notify drivers about a safety risk. 

This latest effort to help bring awareness to a new initiative called Operation Clear Track. 

It's an effort to stop drivers in their tracks to raise awareness about the risk of railroad crossing. 

State statistics for Delaware show that 60 incidents occur per year where an individual is either killed or is injured at a railroad crossing.

Delaware Operation Lifesaver, a nonprofit rail safety education organization, teamed up with law enforcement to make their voices even louder. 

This week is actually the first United States Rail Safety Week. The goal is to reduce pedestrian and driver fatalities around railroad tracks. 

Officers aimed to raise awareness during the 3-hour period. The time frame a reflection of the fact that every three hours a person or vehicle is hit by a train. 

Officers passing out pamphlets providing safety tips:

  • Never walk, run, play, or take pictures on the railroad right-of-way
  • Never attempt to outrun an approaching train
  • If you're standing on the train tracks, you may not hear or feel an oncoming train in time to get away safely
  • Only cross the tracks at designated public crossings
  • Never drive or walk around lowered grade crossing gates
  • Never attempt to outrun an approaching train
  • Never stop your vehicle on  a grade crossing waiting for traffic to move
  • Never begin to drive across the tracks unless you can get all the way across
  • Always call the Emergency Notification System number 24 hours a day to report problems or obstructions at the crossing.
  • Always remember a train can take a mile or more to stop
  • Always know that the average train is three feet wider than the track on each side
  • Always slow down and stop your vehicle prior to train tracks when lights begin to flash

Organizers say with the new initiative they are on the right track to get this message across. 

Categories: Delaware, Local News