Rail safety topic of blitz by Operation Lifesaver
Minnesota Operation Lifesaver, working with BNSF Railway (BNSF) and Metro Transit’s Northstar Commuter Rail, plans a safety blitz at all Northstar stations on Tuesday, May 7, to increase awareness and safe behavior around railroad tracks.
Volunteers at all seven Northstar stations will talk to commuters and distribute safety materials during the morning rush hours. Local law enforcement will be encouraged to monitor pedestrian and driver behavior at crossings along the Northstar corridor for compliance with safety laws.
They will be there in Elk River 6-8 a.m. This safety outreach coincides with International Level Crossing Awareness Day, an international public education campaign to improve safety near railroads. The project is funded, in part, with a grant from the Minnesota Department of Transportation and is the first of its kind in the Twin Cities to focus on safety around commuter trains.
“The number of incidents between the public and trains has been dramatically reduced through public safety education, but much more can be done,” said Jesse Wilkerson, board member of MN Operation Lifesaver.
Statewide, Minnesota saw a decrease in highway-rail grade crossing incidents from 2011 to 2012, but the rate of trespasser incidents increased by over 50 percent.