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).
Photo courtesy 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%).