Drivers Urged to Use Caution at Railroad Crossings This Independence Day Week
OMAHA, NE -- June 30, 2014: Union Pacific Railroad reminds drivers to use caution at railroad crossings while traveling during the Independence Day holiday.
"Independence Day is a special time for gathering with family and friends, and we urge drivers to use caution as they approach and cross railroad tracks," said Robert Morrison, Union Pacific Chief of Police. "Drivers should always expect a train and obey all railroad signals and gates when traveling during this holiday week."
With a companywide focus on safety and proactive public education through UP CARES initiatives (Union Pacific Crossing Accident Reduction Education and Safety), Union Pacific consistently works to educate residents of the more than 7,000 communities where Union Pacific operates of the need for caution around railroad tracks.
Union Pacific has reduced grade crossing accident rates by 15 percent form 2003 - 2013. UP CARES initiatives promote pedestrian and driver safety through a variety of outreach efforts:
Grade crossing education and enforcement, during which motorists violating rail crossing signage and laws are educated about the dangers of such actions. Related "positive enforcement" initiatives reward drivers who operate safely at grade crossings. Safety trains, which host local law enforcement, media and public officials and provide them the opportunity to ride in the locomotive cab and see traffic violations from a locomotive engineer's point of view. This activity also allows Union Pacific to connect with community leaders and help them better understand the railroad's focus on safety. Communication blitzes, which educate the public via community events, media outreach and paid advertising. Media outreach coincides with safety trains in UP communities. According to the Federal Railroad Administration, 249 people died and 952 were injured in 2013 as a result of grade crossing incidents across the United States.