Amtrak Police Department and Operation Lifesaver Inc. (OLI) have partnered with law enforcement and other first responders across the U.S. for Operation Clear Track the single largest rail safety initiative in the U.S. The annual initiative takes place during Rail Safety Week, observed this year from Sept. 18 to 24 in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Operation Clear Track and Rail Safety Week raise awareness about the importance of making safe choices near railroad tracks and crossings.
According to the Federal Railroad Administration, nine out of 10 rail-related fatalities result from crossing collisions and trespass incidents. Trespassing along railroad rights-of-way is the leading cause of rail-related deaths in America. Nationally, more than 400 trespass fatalities occur each year, the vast majority of which are preventable.
“We cannot say this enough. Trespassing on train tracks is not only dangerous, but is illegal in all 50 states,” said Amtrak Chief of Police D. Samuel Dotson. “Through Operation Clear Track, we can help drivers and pedestrians understand that every time someone trespasses on the tracks, it can lead to devastating results, impacting someone’s life, their family and the community.”
During Operation Clear Track, law enforcement representatives conduct safety outreach at high-incident railroad grade crossings in various locations, sharing safety information and enforcing crossing and trespassing laws by issuing citations and warnings to violators. State Operation Lifesaver programs partner with first responders across the U.S. during Operation Clear Track, working to reduce incidents and empower individuals to keep themselves safe near tracks and trains.
“Our mission at Operation Lifesaver is to save lives by helping people make safe choices around railroad tracks and trains. We are thrilled to join forces today with Amtrak and our incredible first responders nationwide. We welcome their support in educating communities on the importance of rail safety and making safe choices all year round. Together, we can help stop track tragedies," said Operation Lifesaver Executive Director Rachel Maleh,