'Officer on a Train' enforcement effort planned Monday
City, county and state law enforcement officers will conduct an "Officer On A Train" enforcement operation Monday (April 21) in southeast Idaho.
The purpose of the enforcement operation is to increase public awareness of the potential dangers that exist at highway railroad intersections and to eliminate driver actions that can have tragic consequences. The operation emphasizes traffic laws that pertain to these intersections.
The enforcement program is one of three parts of the Operation Lifesaver effort – along with education and engineering) that strive to eliminate car-train collisions.
During the "Officer On A Train" campaign, one officer rides in the lead locomotive of a train as a spotter. He or she observes traffic approaching highway/rail intersections as the train approaches. Other officers pace the train or are parked at specific locations. When a motorist is observed violating the law at an intersection, the officer on the train radios one of the chase cars, which in turn stops the motorist, explains the dangers and issues a citation.
Last year, there were 20 car-train collisions that injured seven people and claimed two lives. Five pedestrians also were hit by trains while trespassing on railroad property.
This year to date, there have been six car-train collisions reported, with injuries to two people.
The "Officer On A Train" program is conducted using freight trains, special passenger trains and “helper” engines. Since 1990, the "Officer On A Train" program has been instrumental in helping reduce the number of car-train collisions in Idaho.
City, county and state law enforcement, state and federal agencies, along with the private business and railroads operating in the state sponsor the Idaho Operation Lifesaver program.
Idaho Operation Lifesaver is dedicated to eliminating car train collisions, which result in preventable deaths and injuries. For additional information or to schedule a free presentation, call Idaho Operation Lifesaver at (208) 236-5626.