Authorities to conduct safety detail in Southern Illinois as part of Rail Safety Week

SOUTHERN ILLINOIS — The Illinois State Police, Union Pacific Railroad Police, and local law enforcement are partnering for a grade crossing and pedestrian safety enforcement detail in southern Illinois on September 15th as part of Illinois Rail Safety Week. 

The mission of the Illinois Rail Safety Week is to promote education, conduct enforcement and promote continued engineering advances in an effort to raise public awareness which will lead to the prevention of collisions, deaths, and injuries at places where roadways cross railroad tracks, on railroad rights of way, and on railroad property. 

In Illinois during 2015, there were 140 crossing collisions involving motor vehicles, which resulted in 79 injuries and 24 fatalities. 

In addition, there were 41 trespasser incidents that resulted in 18 injuries and 23 fatalities when people trespassed onto railroad property. 

During 2015, Illinois ranked 3rd in the nation in vehicle collision fatalities and 5th in the nation in trespasser fatalities.

According to Illinois Operation Lifesaver, more than 50 percent of all collisions occur at crossings with active warning devices (flashing lights, gates, and ringing bells). 

Illinois is being joined by Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Indiana this year in a regional effort.