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Governor Walker proclaims May 15 as Operation Lifesaver Awareness Day

May 13, 2013

Prevent trouble on the tracks; rail safety education highlighted in Wisconsin

Governor Scott Walker has issued a proclamation making Wednesday, May 15, 2013, Operation Lifesaver Awareness Day in Wisconsin.

Operation Lifesaver is a national rail safety organization with coordinators in all 50 states. Its mission is to educate motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists about railroad safety and help put an end to preventable rail-related deaths and injuries.

Last year, there were 43 highway/railroad grade crossing crashes in Wisconsin. Those crashes resulted in four deaths and 12 injuries, according to preliminary data from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). The FRA also reported there were three pedestrian incidents on or near railroad tracks in 2012, killing two people and injuring one.

Operation Lifesaver and WisDOT offer the following rail safety reminders:

  • Always expect a train at each highway/rail intersection. Freight trains don't travel at fixed times and schedules for passenger trains change.
  • Trains have the right of way 100% of the time over emergency vehicles, cars, the police and pedestrians.
  • Trains can move in either direction at any time. Sometimes their cars are pushed by locomotives instead of being pulled.
  • An approaching train is always closer and moving faster than you think.
  • Remember to cross train tracks only at designated pedestrian or roadway crossings, and obey all warning signs and signals posted there.
  • Stay alert around railroad tracks. That means no texting, headphones or other distractions that would prevent you from hearing an approaching train.

Find more information about Operation Lifesaver online. Read the Governor’s proclamation at the WisDOT web site.

For more information, contact:
Susan Klinger, Wisconsin Operation Lifesaver coordinator
(715) 453-2303,



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