Park Ridge Police Will Participate in the Inaugural Illinois Rail Safety Week

On July 22, 2014, Governor Pat Quinn issued a Proclamation declaring September 14th to September 20th, 2014 as Illinois Rail Safety Week in an effort to promote vehicle and pedestrian safety around railroad tracks and trains. This is Illinois’ first statewide rail safety initiative. The Park Ridge Police Department will be participating in this initiative. Officers will be conducting extra patrols near crossings and will be working with our Volunteer Corps to hand out safety literature at our commuter stations.

In Illinois, during 2013, there were 126 crossing collisions involving motor vehicles, which resulted in 40 injuries and 21 fatalities. In addition, there were 52 incidents that resulted in 27 injuries and 25 fatalities after victims trespassed onto railroad property. During 2013, Illinois ranked third in the nation in both vehicle collision fatalities and trespasser fatalities.

The Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, Illinois Sheriff’s Association, Illinois Commerce Commission, Illinois Operation Lifesaver, Illinois Department of Transportation, Illinois Truck Enforcement Association, Illinois State Police, Chicago Police Department, local and railroad law enforcement, first responders and area railroad companies commit to partnering together in an effort to educate Illinois residents on all aspects of railroad safety, to enforce applicable state laws and to support Illinois Rail Safety Week. Educational, as well as, enforcement details are planned during the week at various railroad grade crossings and commuter stations throughout the State of Illinois. If appropriate, officers will cite drivers and pedestrians who disobey laws associated with railroad grade crossings and railroad property. In addition, police officers will be conducting educational campaigns by distributing literature to the public which contains information on how to be safe around trains and train tracks.

To date, 268 agencies have committed to participating in this, the inaugural, statewide rail safety week. These agencies include those listed above, the Federal Railroad Administration, all 21 State Police districts, 26 counties, 13 railroads/rail police agencies, 182 municipal police agencies, 2 fire departments and 5 associations/private firms. The numbers clearly demonstrate that Illinois can, and will, work together in the interest of public safety.

These participants are working together to improve rail safety and to eliminate preventable injuries and deaths. Voluntary compliance is the goal. Education and enforcement are the tools to help accomplish that goal. These participants are helping to keep Illinois safely moving on our railways.

For more information about Illinois Rail Safety Week, or to see the names of participating agencies, please visit www.illinoisrailsafetyweek.org.



 
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