Enforcement operations in Independence and Grain Valley today are meant to highlight U.S. Rail Safety Week, which runs through Saturday.
Both events are from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and typically are held at busy rail crossings. Police ticket drivers who don’t stop for flashing rail signals.
Federal safety officials say that nationwide, a person or a vehicle is struck by a train once every three hours on average.
Since mid-July, the non-profit group Missouri Operation Lifesaver has had radio ads with the theme “See tracks? Think Train!” Safety officials also point out that walking along railroad tracks is not only dangerous but illegal in that it’s trespassing. That also applies to taking photos on train tracks.
Collisions of trains and vehicles have been declining for decades, but more than 2,000 a year still occur. Last year, more than 900 people were killed or injured that way, including seven fatalities and 19 injuries at rail crossings in Missouri. Also in Missouri, five people were killed and eight injured in 14 cases of trespassing.