The Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, Partnering with Metra, is Coordinating the 5th Annual Illinois Rail Safety Week
The Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police (ILACP) has asked the Governor of the State of Illiois to declare September 23 to 29 as Illinois Rail Safety Week in order to promote vehicle and pedestrian safety around railroad tracks and trains. Governor Rauner issued a proclamation and the ILACP is coordinating the fifth, statewide Illinois Rail Safety Week in partnership with Metra, along with support from state, county, and local law enforcement agencies, railroads, schools, and various private sector agencies.
In addition, Operation Lifesaver has declared the same week as National Rail Safety Week, and the ILACP is proud to be part of the national effort. In Illinois during 2017, there were 86 collisions at public highway-rail crossings involving motor vehicles or pedestrians, which resulted in 24 injuries and 21 fatalities. Additionally, there were 41 trespasser incidents that resulted in 26 injuries and 15 fatalities when people trespassed onto railroad property. During 2017, Illinois ranked 2nd in the nation in collision fatalities and 8th in the nation in trespasser fatalities.
To promote rail safety awareness and education, the Palatine Police Department will be participating in Illinois Rail Safety Week. Enforcement details are planned throughout the week at various railroad grade crossings and the Palatine commuter station to cite both drivers and pedestrians who disobey the laws associated with railroad grade crossings and railroad property. Palatine police officers will also be distributing literature to the public that contains information on how to be safe around trains and train tracks.
Please remember, not only is it against the law to stop your vehicle on railroad tracks, it is also against the law to stop your vehicle anywhere within the highway-rail grade crossing. Highway-rail grade crossings are typically marked by white stop lines located on the pavement in advance of the crossing, and if not marked by white stop lines, the highway-rail grade crossing extends from protective gate arm to protective gate arm.
According to Illinois Operation Lifesaver, more than 84 percent of all collisions occur at crossings with active warning devices (flashing lights, gates, and ringing bells). For more information, please visit Illinois Rail Safety Week, or contact the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police.