Nearly 300 Illinois police departments attended the state’s first Rail Safety Week Sept. 14-20. BRC Police participated by conducting safety blitzes and distributing material to people near busy crossings.
In 2013, Illinois reported 126 crossing collisions involving motor vehicles, resulting in 40 injuries and 21 fatal injuries. The state also reported 52 incidents resulting in 27 injuries and 25 fatal injuries due to trespassers on railroad rights of way. Illinois was ranked third in the nation for vehicle collision and trespasser fatalities, making Chicago a prime location for the first Rail Safety Week.
The event provided opportunities for police and Operation Lifesaver volunteers to educate and enforce. Officers distributed educational fliers, focusing on areas near rail stations and the city’s busiest crossings.
During the four-hour event, 63 citations were issued and nine arrests were made.
“For us, safety always is the biggest concern,” said Director of Police and Risk Management Mike Romano. “Anytime we get a chance, we try to promote rail safety.”