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DuPage County Sheriff

James Mendrick

PRESS RELEASE

Contact Information: Domrose #563 ~ 630.407.2010

Monday, September 15, 2014

Sheriff’s Says Don’t Be Caught Dead Sitting on the Tracks

DuPage County Sheriff John Zaruba will be participating in Illinois Rail Safety Week from September 14th to September 20th in order to promote vehicle and pedestrian safety around railroad tracks and trains. 

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 trespasser incidents that resulted in 27 injuries and 25 fatalities when people trespassed on to railroad property.  During 2013, Illinois ranked 3rd in the nation in both vehicle collision fatalities and trespasser fatalities. 

  Enforcement details are planned throughout the week at various railroad grade crossings and commuter stations within the County of DuPage to cite both drivers and pedestrians who disobey the laws associated with railroad grade crossings and railroad property.  In addition, deputies will be distributing literature to educate the public on rail crossing safety. 

Please remember, not only is it against the law to stop your vehicle on the railroad tracks, it is against the law to stop your vehicle anywhere within the highway-rail grade crossing. Highway-rail grade crossings are typically marked by white stop lines located on the pavement in advance of the crossing, and if not marked by white stop lines, the highway-rail grade crossing extends from protective gate arm to protective gate arm. 

According to Illinois Operation Lifesaver, more than 50 percent of all collisions occur at crossings with active warning devices (flashing lights, gates, and ringing bells).  When crossing railroad tracks, you must always obey the law and be aware of your surroundings.  For more information about Illinois Rail Safety Week, please visit www.illinoisrailsafetyweek.org.