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
2018 RAIL SAFETY WEEK
Rail Safety Week for 2018 will be held September 23 - 29, 2018
Events will be posted closer to those dates.
Iowa will be hosting the annual Multi-State Rail Safety Conference (Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska), (formerly the Missouri-Kansas Rail Safety Conference) on April 11-12, 2018 at the Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites, 2202 River Rd. Council Bluffs, Iowa
The agenda is still being developed so the website has last year’s agenda to provide an idea of the types of topics which may be covered. They bring together representatives of federal and state agencies, railroad and rail industry officials, and consultants to discuss and share ideas seeking to improve highway-railroad crossings and reduce injuries and fatalities on railroad right of way.
The registration fee is $49 per person and they have a room block for $93/night.
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, 2016 vs. 2015
Source: FRA Office of Safety Analysis
THESE NUMBERS ARE PRELIMINARY FOR 2017
Public crossing crashes in Missouri for 2017 appear to be down 20% compared to 2016. Fatalities are down 62% at three and injuries are down 15% at 16 in 2017.
Missouri Pedestrian/trespass incidents do not appear to be following the nationwide trend, as we experienced a slight decrease compared to 2016. Thirteen trespass incidents resulting in 6 fatalities and 7 injuries occurred in 2017. (However two of these incidents are currently being investigated as possible suicides, which will reduce our numbers if this is the case). Missouri trespass incidents are down 13%, however trespass fatalities increased when compared to 2016 stats. (Note: if those two incidents are ruled as suicides our fatals for the same time period will have decreased by 40% compared to the same time period in 2016).