Montana Operation Lifesaver (MTOL) is a nonprofit public safety education and awareness organization dedicated to reducing collisions, fatalities and injuries at highway-rail crossing 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 locala 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 crossing within our communities. MTOL is part of a national nonprofit program known as Operation Lifesaver, Inc..
Why is Operation Lifesaver Needed?
Sadly, every year people in Montana 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 here.
MT OL Events
National Night Out, August 2019
A great evening was spent spreading the rail safety message at the MSUN college campus in Havre.
Great Northern Fair, Havre, July 2019
The See Tracks? Think Train! (ST3) mascot was working the Great Northern Fair, spreading the rail safety message as a walking billboard. The ST3 mascot helped raise rail safety awareness at the week-long event.
Public MT OL Events
Check our calendar to see what events we will be attending!
MT OL Safety Partners
Montana Operation Lifesaver is supported by numerous partners who contribute both financially and through in-kind donations of time and talents. For more information about becoming an MTOL partner, please contact us through the information provided on the right of this page.
Preliminary Montana Rail Crossing and Trespass Statistics, 2018 vs. 2019
Source: FRA Office of Safety Analysis
*Data through September 2019
• All train tracks are private property. Never walk on tracks; it's illegal and dangerous. It takes the average freight train traveling at 55 mph more than a mile—the length of 18 football fields—to stop. Trains cannot stop quickly enough to avoid a collision.
• Trains have the right of way 100% of the time over emergency vehicles, cars, the police and pedestrians.
• Trains can move in either direction at any time. Sometimes its cars are pushed by locomotives instead of being pulled, which is especially true in commuter and light rail passenger service.
• Today's trains are quieter than ever, producing no telltale "clackety-clack." Any approaching train is always closer, moving faster, than you think.
• Remember to cross train tracks ONLY at designated pedestrian or roadway crossings, and obey all warning signs and signals posted there.
• Stay alert around railroad tracks. Refrain from texting, headphones or other distractions that would prevent you from hearing an approaching train; never mix rails and recreation.
• Never drive around lowered gates — it's illegal and deadly.