COLORADO — The Colorado Department of Transportation, Operation Lifesaver Inc. and Operation Lifesaver Canada are joining forces this week to observe Rail Safety Week.
CDOT is dedicating this week to the memory of the victims of a crash in Bent County on Friday when an Amtrak train crashed into a vehicle at a marked crossing on Highway 50. Both people in the car died.
As part of Rail Safety Week, the organizations are releasing new videos in their ongoing public awareness campaign aimed at saving lives near railroad tracks.
The campaign called #STOPTrackTragedies, features videos with the personal stories of people affected by rail crossings or trespassing incidents, including victims, friends, and family members. engineers and first responders.
Between 2013 and 2017 in Colorado 14 people were killed and 36 were injured in vehicle-train crashes. Every year in North America, 2,100 people are killed or seriously injured around tracks and trains, often at at-grade crossings.
By law, trains always have the right of way, and avoiding a train collision is the responsibility of the driver, pedestrian, bicyclist or motorcyclist. A train cannot swerve, stop quickly or change directions to avert a collision. A train traveling at 55 mph requires a mile to stop – the length of more than 17 football fields – after applying the emergency brakes.
In Colorado the following events will happen during the week:
Monday, September 23; Central Park Station, Denver; 6:30am-8:30am
Monday, September 23; Vance and Grandview by old Town RTD Crossing; 6:30am-8:30am
Tuesday, September 24; King Soopers, 12350 West 64th Ave., Arvada 80004; 2:00pm - 6:00pm
Tuesday, September 24; Central Park Station; 6:30am-8:30am
Tuesday, September 24; Vance and Grandview by old Town RTD Crossing; 6:30am-8:30am
Tuesday, September 24; Ralston Valley HS, 13355 West 80th Ave.; 11:00am-1:00pm
Wednesday, September 25; King Soopers 9731 W. 58th Ave.; Arvada 80002; 10:00am - 6:00pm
Wednesday, September 25; Ralston Valley HS 13355 West 80th Ave.; 11:00am-1:00pm
Friday, September 27; Arvada K-8 1st Grade 5751 Balsam St.; Arvada 80002; 12:00 - 12:30
CDOT urges motorists to follow these tips to stay safe at railroad crossings:
· When approaching a railroad crossing, slow down, look and listen for a train on the tracks, especially at passive crossings where there are no gates or warning signals.
· Look carefully in both directions before crossing a rail track, even during the day.
· Do not rely on past experience to guess when a train is coming. Trains can travel from either direction at any time.
· Never race a train. It is easy to misjudge a train’s speed and distance from a crossing.
· Before entering a railroad crossing, check that there is enough room on the other side of the tracks for your vehicle to cross completely and safely. Be aware that you may need to cross multiple sets of tracks at some railroad crossings.
· Never stop on railroad tracks. Keep moving once you have entered the crossing. To avoid a vehicle stalling, never shift gears on the tracks.
· If your vehicle stalls on a railroad track, quickly move away from the track and your vehicle at a 45-degree angle. Call the phone number on the Emergency Notification System sign or, if the sign is not visible to you, dial 911 for help.
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