Vehicle, pedestrian safety around railroad tracks promoted by Illinois State Police District 22
For the fifth consecutive year, Illinois State Police District 22 is partnering with local, state and federal agencies to promote vehicle and pedestrian safety around railroad tracks and trains during Rail Safety Week, which is taking place Sept. 23-29.
To promote rail safety awareness and education and prevent injuries and fatalities, District 22 commander Capt. Michael Alvey has planned enforcement details throughout the week at various railroad grade crossings. Union County is in District 22.
Drivers and pedestrians who disobey the laws associated with railroad grade crossings and railroad property will be cited, Alvey said in a news release.
In addition to enforcement efforts, the Illinois State Police also are committed to changing behavior through education.
Officers will be distributing literature to the public that contains rail safety information.
“When crossing railroad tracks, motorists must always obey the law and be aware of your surroundings,” Alvey stated in a news release.
“Please remember, it is against the law to stop your vehicle on the railroad tracks and anywhere within the highway-rail grade crossing.
“Highway-rail grade crossings are typically marked by white stop lines located on the pavement in advance of the crossing, and if not marked by white stop lines, the highway-rail grade crossing extends from protective gate arm to protective gate arm.
“Please also remember it is against the law for pedestrians to go around a protective gate or disobey warning lights or bells.”
In 2017, there were over 2,100 railroad crossing collisions involving motor vehicles nationwide, which resulted in over 800 injuries and over 270 fatalities.
In 2017, there were over 100 railroad crossing collisions in Illinois involving motor vehicles; these collisions resulted in 29 injuries and 25 fatalities.
In addition, there were 46 trespassing incidents on railroad property in Illinois, which resulted in 26 injuries and 20 fatalities.
In 2017, Illinois ranked second in the nation in grade crossing fatalities and seventh in the nation in trespassing fatalities.