The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) issued to Congress the first National Strategy to Prevent Trespassing on Railroad Property, which examines the causal factors that contribute to trespassing incidents on railroad property, and responds to a U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations request.
In the report, the FRA examined trespasser casualties over a four-year period (Nov. 2013 to Oct. 2017) and identified the top 10 counties in the U.S. where the most pedestrian trespasser casualties occurred (Los Angeles; Cook, Illinois; San Bernardino, Fresno, Riverside; and Contra Costa, California; San Diego; Harris, Texas; and Broward and Palm Beach, Florida). The report shows that, excluding suicides, 4,242 pedestrians were killed or injured while trespassing on railroad property nationwide during this time period.
In October 2018, FRA convened a Trespasser & Grade Crossing Fatality Prevention Summit at its headquarters in Washington, D.C. Secretary Chao, Administrator Batory, representatives from other DOT modal administrations, and key stakeholders from the rail industry, law enforcement, and the navigation industry attended the meeting to discuss strategies to reduce grade crossing and trespasser fatalities, as well as to solicit ideas to develop and implement a comprehensive national plan and strategy.
FRA’s National Strategy to prevent trespassing on railroad property includes four strategic focus areas: data gathering and analysis, community site visits, funding, and partnerships with stakeholders.
- Data gathering and analysis of trespass incidents and close-calls will enable FRA to target its resources to trespassing “hot spots.”
- Conducting community site visits will help FRA to learn more about the specific local circumstances that contribute to trespassing and work with partners to help implement and evaluate targeted mitigation strategies.
- Requesting and providing funding will support community-based efforts to deter trespassing.
- Finally, building strong and enduring partnerships with communities, law enforcement, railroads, and other organizations with a shared interest in saving lives will enable FRA to leverage and concentrate available resources, expertise, and local knowledge to combat trespassing.
Short-term targets for success include stakeholder engagement and implementation of strategies that save lives at trespassing “hot spots.” Over the long term, FRA will measure the success of this National Strategy by how much trespassing incidents and casualties are reduced nationwide.
To access the full report, click here.