Operation Lifesaver started in 1972 when the average number of collisions at U.S. highway-rail grade crossings had risen above 12,000 incidents annually. To address this, the Idaho governor's office, along with the Idaho Peace Officers and Union Pacific Railroad launched a six-week public awareness educational campaign called Operation Lifesaver to promote highway-rail grade crossing safety. After Idaho's crossing-related fatalities fell that year by 43%, the successful program was adopted by Nebraska (1973) and Kansas and Georgia the following year. Missouri adopted the program in October 1977. Within a decade it had spread around the country; in 1986 a non-profit national Operation Lifesaver office was created to help support the efforts of state OL programs and raise national awareness on highway-rail grade crossing issues.
What is Missouri Operation Lifesaver?
Missouri Operation Lifesaver (MO OL) is a nonprofit public safety education and awareness organization dedicated to reducing collisions, fatalities and injuries at highway-rail crossings and trespassing on or near railroad tracks. OL promotes rail safety through public awareness campaigns and education initiatives, including free safety presentations by authorized volunteers. We speak to school groups, driver education classes, community audiences, professional drivers, law enforcement officers, emergency responders, and others. Our program is co-sponsored by state and local government agencies, highway safety organizations, America's railroads, and other entities. Together we promote the three E's - education, enforcement and engineering - to keep people safe around the tracks and railway crossings within our communities. MO OL is part of a national nonprofit program known as Operation Lifesaver, Inc. (OLI).
Why is Operation Lifesaver Needed?
Sadly, every year people in Missouri are killed or injured at highway-rail crossings and at other locations along railroad tracks.
Many people are unaware that trains cannot stop quickly to avoid collisions; or, they take chances by ignoring warning signs and signals, going around lowered gates, stopping on tracks, or simply not paying attention when approaching highway-rail crossings. People also make the potentially fatal mistake of choosing railroad tracks as shortcuts or as places to walk or run for recreation. They may not realize that walking on train tracks is illegal, or understand how quickly and quietly a train can approach. Our safety tips can save your life – or the life of someone you love.
Become an Operation Lifesaver Authorized Volunteer
We are always looking for high-energy volunteers to help us spread our important message. Our volunteers are everywhere—schools, training programs, law enforcement events and safety fairs—with the common purpose of keeping our citizens safe. You can begin the process today by clicking on this link oli.org/training/volunteer-for-oli.
MO OL Events
2019 Kirkwood Rail Safety Day
kIRKWOOD RAIL SAFETY DAY And STATION OPEN HOUSE
Saturday, May 11, 2019
9:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Kirkwood Train Station
110 W. Argonne Drive
Invited displays include:
Kirkwood Police and Fire Departments
Missouri Operation Lifesaver
National Museum of Transportation
Morse Telegraph Club
Union Pacific & BNSF Railroad Police
Kirkwood Station Rental Information
Historic Kirkwood Train Station Foundation
Various Historical Societies
Sponsored by the Kirkwood Police Dept. and the Kirkwood Station Volunteers
For more information, please call Bill Burckhalter 314-792-4125
95% OF ALL RAIL-RELATED DEATHS INVOLVE DRIVERS GOING THROUGH
A CROSSING OR A PERSON ON THE TRACKS
STAY OFF! STAY AWAY! STAY ALIVE!
2019 RAIL SAFETY WEEK
Rail Safety Week for 2019 will be held September 22 - 28, 2019
MO OL Safety Partners
Missouri Operation Lifesaver is sponsored by and in safety partnerhip with:
Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway (BNSF)
Kansas City Southern Railroad (KCS)
Norfolk Southern Railway (NS)
Union Pacific Railroad (UP)
Arkansas & Missouri Railroad (AMR)
MetroLink/Bi-State Development Agency (BSDA)
Central Midland Railway (CMR)
Columbia Terminal Railroad (COLT)
Canadian Pacific Railroad (CP)
Kaw River Railroad (KAW)
Kansas City Street Car
Kansas City Terminal Railway (KCT)
Missouri & Northern Arkansas Railroad (MNA)
Pemiscot County Port Authority Railroad
SEMO Port Railroad
Terminal Railroad Association (TRRA)
Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT)
Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP)
Missouri Coalition For Roadway Safety (MCRS)
Missouri School Bus Task Force
Federal Railroad Administration (FRA)
MO OL Statistics
Preliminary Missouri Rail Crossing and Trespass Statistics, 2017 vs. 2016
Source: FRA Office of Safety Analysis
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Tim Hull, Executive Director Missouri Operation Lifesaver
Phone - 573-694-6412
Email - thull.MOOL21@gmail.com
Missouri Operation Lifesaver notes increase in 2018 crossing collisions; pedestrian-train casualties fell from 2017 levels
Preliminary Rail Crossing and Trespass Statistics, 2017 vs. 2018
Source: FRA Office of Safety Analysis
Jefferson City, MO April 10, 2019 – Collisions at highway-rail grade crossings collisions in Missouri rose by 32% in 2018 and rail trespass casualties held steady at 9 according to the nonprofit rail safety education organization Missouri Operation Lifesaver, https://community.oli.org/state/mo. The group cited preliminary 2018 Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) statistics.
“We are concerned with this increase in highway-rail grade crossing collisions,” said Missouri Operation Lifesaver Executive Director Tim Hull, “We will continue our work educating people across Missouri about how to keep themselves, their friends and their families safe near tracks and trains to avoid these preventable tragedies,” said Hull.
Nationally, vehicle-train collisions at highway-rail grade crossings rose 4.3 percent in 2018, while the number of people killed in crossing incidents stayed constant; however, the number of people injured in crossing incidents declined 2.9 percent last year. Deaths in 2018 from train track trespassing climbed 12 percent, and trespass injuries declined 6.3 percent; total trespass-related casualties (deaths plus injuries) increased 2.8 percent from 2017 levels, Hull said.
Overall, Missouri crossing collisions were up 32 percent in 2018 from 2017, to 52; crossing fatalities rose 33 percent to 9; and crossing injuries rose 18 percent to 22, FRA statistics reveal. Trespass fatalities remained the same in 2018 at 9, and trespass injuries fell 36 percent in 2018 to 7.
“This year, Missouri will participate in Rail Safety Week, September 22-28,” Hull continued. “We look forward to working with our safety partners to raise awareness among Missouri residents of the need to always use caution near crossings and refrain from trespassing on the tracks.” he concluded.
About Operation Lifesaver
Operation Lifesaver (www.oli.org) is a nonprofit public safety education and awareness organization dedicated to reducing collisions, fatalities and injuries at highway-rail crossings and preventing trespassing on or near railroad tracks. A national network of trained volunteers gives free presentations on rail safety and a public awareness campaign, See Tracks? Think Train!” provides tips and statistics to encourage safe behavior near the tracks. OLI leads an international observance of Rail Safety Week each September. Learn more about Rail Safety Week; follow OLI on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.
Target Counties for 2019
These counties were selected based on rail crossing incidents, from FRA data, MoDOT Multimodal Operations Division-Railroad Section and Railroad Unsafe Motorists Reports.
Executive Director MO Operation Lifesaver