Wednesday, April 7

“Common Sense” around railroad tracks can prevent needless tragedies.

Yesterday, Jerry Williams, a 55 year old man riding a bicycle was killed by a train in downtown Tucson, Arizona when he ran through the crossing gates trying to beat the train.

This unfortunately is not an isolated event. Every day, we hear about pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists who are killed along the railroad tracks while either trespassing or not paying attention at grade crossings. Unfortunately, many of these incidents involve young children and many of these accidents can be avoided with common sense and some instruction in railroad safety.

Operation Lifesaver has teamed up with Amtrak and the Class One US railroads to promote “Common Sense” around railroad tracks. As their new website states,

“The Common Sense public safety campaign is designed to remind each and every one of us to use this often overlooked and underrated human faculty, especially around railroad tracks.

Each year, too many people are hurt or killed by not exercising caution around railroad tracks, and this joint effort between CSX, Union Pacific, Burlington Northern Santa Fe, Norfolk Southern, Kansas City Southern, Amtrak and Operation Lifesaver is our attempt to promote common sense and to save lives.”

Using “Common Sense” and acting safely around the tracks, hopefully deaths such as Mr. Williams can be avoided.

Operation Lifesaver ( has working to instruct the public about railroad safety since 1972 when it was began in Idaho. Sponsored by the Railway Supply Institute, Amtrak, and the Association of American Railroad; Operation Lifesaver is now active in 49 states and the District of Columbia. Visit their website to arrange for a presenter to talk to your group or to volunteer to help teach safety to others.