Law Enforcement, Railroad team up for Operation Lifesaver - WPSD Local 6: Your news, weather, and sports authority

Law Enforcement, Railroad team up for Operation Lifesaver

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WEST FRANKFORT, IL - Everyday trains travel across the country carrying the burden of getting our goods from one point to another, but once conductors are in the cab the last thing they need is the added weight of worrying.

"The average train will take a mile or more to stop at 55 miles per hour so if they can see a person or a vehicle on the tracks, odds are they cannot get stopped before they get to them," said Union Pacific Railroad spokesman Mike McGill.

As trains are getting faster and quieter safety patrols have reduced the number of accidents involving cars and trains by nearly 75%.  

In 1981, there were 9,461 collisions, and 728 fatalities.  

In 2013, there were 2,087 collisions, and 251 fatalities.

A new fad of using railroad tracks for pictures or as a shortcut claimed close to 500 additional lives in the last year alone.

"Anytime that you're on railroad property like the tracks, bridges, overpasses, we even see people climbing on railroad cars in yards if you are not a railroad employee and you do not have permission to be there it is illegal, it is trespassing," said McGill.  "Stay off of the tracks."
By blowing the whistle now and writing tickets, Illinois State Police spokesman Joey Watson says his office is doing what it can to avoid every troopers worst nightmare.
"When you as a law enforcement officer have to go make that call or have to go stand at someone's door and make that knock it's one of the worst feelings in the world," said Illinois State Police Trooper Joey Watson.
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