Union Pacific Railroad reminds drivers to use caution at railroad crossings while traveling in their vehicles this Labor Day weekend. “With the Labor Day weekend being one of the busiest vehicle travel days during the year, we want drivers to use caution when they cross railroad tracks, always expect a train and safely arrive at their destinations,” said Robert Morrison, Union Pacific Chief of Police.
“Because of its size, a train is actually moving faster than it appears, and, by the time a locomotive engineer sees a vehicle on the crossing, it is too late to stop,” said Dale Bray, Union Pacific director – public safety.
Union Pacific has reduced grade crossing incidents by 37 percent across its rail network since 2001. The railroad is committed to public safety through various outreach channels such as community events, media, Union Pacific Railroad police, employee resource groups and Operation Lifesaver. The UP CARES (Union Pacific Crossing Accident Reduction Education and Safety) public safety initiative brings together communities in a collaborative and caring effort to promote railroad grade crossing and pedestrian safety.
UP CARES activities include:
Grade crossing enforcement with local, county and state law enforcement agencies;
Safety trains that provide local officials a firsthand look at what locomotive engineers see daily while they operate trains through a community; and
Communication blitzes that educate the community at events or media outreach.
Although the rail industry has reduced crossing collisions by more than 84 percent since 1972, tragically, 266 people died and 991 were injured in 2011 as a result of a grade crossing collisions throughout the United States, according to the Federal Railroad Administration.