ILLINOIS (KFVS) - For the five straight years the Illinois State Police is partnering with local, state and federal agencies to promote safety around railroad tracks and trains during Rail Safety Week.
The goal is to promote safety awareness and education to prevent injuries and fatalities. Illinois has over 7,300 miles of track with 7,674 public crossings and 3,762 private crossings. Nationally this puts it second in both categories.
There will be law enforcement details throughout the week at railroad grade crossings and railroad property. Officers will be handing out literature and speaking with schools as well.
Illinois ranks second in the nation grade crossing fatalities.
Trooper Joshua Haile spoke about why its so important to be aware of your surroundings at crossings.
“Trains don’t run on a set schedule, they are out there 24/7/365,” said Haile. “You’ve got to take some paitence that a train can’t avoid you like a passenger car can. There is no forgiving when it comes train avoidance as far as a collision is concerned.”