MONTGOMERY, Ala. – According to the Amtrak Police Department, a person or vehicle is hit by a train in the United States every three hours. To bring awareness to the potential dangers surrounding railroad tracks and trains, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) is joining fellow law enforcement agencies and first responders across the nation and in Canada to participate in “Operation Clear Track,” the single largest rail-safety law-enforcement initiative in North America.
The annual safety campaign, which is coordinated by the Amtrack Police Department and Operation Lifesaver Inc, aims to reduce serious injuries and deaths each year in the U.S. This collaborative railroad safety initiative is one of several events scheduled during Rail Safety Week (RSW), which began Monday Sept. 19, and ends Sunday, Sept. 25. Once again, ALEA Troopers will be stationed at railroad crossings and various locations across the state to distribute educational materials to motorists, pedestrians and cyclists to reinforce the importance of crossing and trespass laws. Additionally, ALEA will participate in virtual rail safety messaging on all social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Nextdoor and Instagram.
“Many of the first responders who are passionate about this initiative are the same men and women who have responded to railroad incidents and have experienced firsthand the tragedy when a life is lost in conjunction with the devastating consequences experienced by that individual’s family as well as their community,” said ALEA Secretary Hal Taylor. “Whether on foot or in a vehicle, we want all citizens and local communities to be aware of the risks and empower everyone to make safe choices around railroad tracks and trains.”
“Trespassing on train tracks is not only dangerous, but it is also illegal in all 50 states,” said ALEA’s Department of Public Safety Director, Col. Jimmy Helms. “We are proud to be a part of this ongoing safety partnership within the first responder community and do our part in reducing deaths and injuries, in order to save lives. Together, we can help stop track tragedies.”
Learn more at www.alea.gov.