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Operation Lifesaver hoping to increase awareness during Rail Safety Week

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Posted at 8:55 AM, Sep 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-24 08:55:37-04

Rail Safety Week kicks off on Monday and Michigan Operation Lifesaver is hoping to alert people about the dangers of being inattentive at rail crossings and along train tracks during the entire week.

"While the number of highway-rail crossing crashes, deaths, and injuries have dropped over the past five decades, it's still a startling fact that about every three hours in the U.S. a person or vehicle is hit by a train," Sam Crowl, Michigan OLI state coordinator, said in a release.

During the week, there will be PSAs, billboard campaigns, and other activities across the state.

Federal Railroad Administration data found that last year, there were 44 vehicle/train crashes at rail crossings in Michigan that resulted in 15 injuries. On top o that, 12 people or trespassers were injured or killed while walking on or near railroad tracks in Michigan last year.

They are telling people that all railroad property should be considered private and shouldn't be accessed without permission.

"The goal of RSW is to raise awareness of the need for rail safety education and empower Michigan residents to keep themselves safe near highway-rail grade crossings and railroad property," said Tim Hoeffner, MDOT Office of Rail director. "We fully support OLI and RSW's goal: educating our citizens to automatically expect a train on any track or at any crossing, and to take appropriate precautions."