March 8, 2012

Report: Train collisions, deaths down

Sustained public education efforts, engineering improvements and law enforcement programs have contributed to a nationwide reduction in vehicle-train collisions and pedestrian-train deaths and injuries in 2011, according to Operation Lifesaver Inc. (OLI).

The national nonprofit rail safety education organization cited preliminary 2011 Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) statistics showing that highway-rail crossing collisions dropped 3%; fatalities and injuries to pedestrians trespassing on train tracks showed improvement from their 2010 levels. Deaths and injuries resulting from vehicle-train collisions, however, rose in 2011.

States with the most crossing collisions in 2011 were Texas, Indiana, California, Louisiana and Illinois. States with the most pedestrian-train casualties (deaths and injuries combined) in 2011 were California, Texas, Illinois, Florida and New York.

The FRA statistics indicate that there were 1,956 vehicle-train collisions in the U.S. in 2011 compared to 2,017 incidents in 2010; those collisions resulted in 262 deaths (up 2.3% from 2010) and 964 injuries (up 12.9%). There were 428 trespass-related pedestrian deaths last year (down 1.4%) and 346 trespass injuries (down 10.8%).

 

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