Sheriff Craig Webre announced the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office will take part in Operation Clear Track as part of the second annual Rail Safety Week, September 23-29, 2018. The operation is a cooperative initiative among Amtrak, Operation Lifesaver, and hundreds of law enforcement agencies throughout the United States.
The goal of Rail Safety Week is to reduce pedestrian and driver injuries and fatalities around railroad tracks through increased public awareness. Federal statistics show that about every three hours in the United States, a person or vehicle is hit by a train.
Operation Clear Track will specifically take place on Tuesday, September 25. This operation, which began in 2017, was started to help reduce grade crossing and trespassing incidents along railroad tracks throughout the country. LPSO traffic deputies will spend a portion of their time throughout the week, including Tuesday, monitoring the rail crossings in Lafourche Parish, such as the crossing on LA Highway 307 near LA Highway 182, as well as Lafourche Crossing in Thibodaux. Deputies will have information cards with railroad safety tips to distribute to motorists and pedestrians they encounter in these areas.
“With regard to safety, we are not aware of any major or ongoing issues with any of the rail crossings in our parish,” said Sheriff Webre. “With that said, it is still important for people to remember basic safety tips when they happen upon a rail crossing anywhere, including Lafourche Parish.”
In conjunction with Operation Clear Track, Sheriff Webre offers these rail safety tips:
- Never drive or walk around lowered grade crossing gates.
- Never stop your vehicle on a grade crossing while waiting for traffic to move. Wait until you drive completely across the tracks before trying to cross.
- Never attempt to outrun an approaching train. A train can take a mile or more to stop.
- Be aware that the average train is three feet wider than the track on each side.
- Never walk run, play, or take photos on the railroad right-of-way. If you are on or near the tracks, you are trespassing on private property. Also, if you are standing on rail tracks, you may not hear or feel an oncoming train in time to get away safely.
For more rail safety tips, visit www.OLI.org.