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    Thursday, September 28, 2023

    ‘Rail Safety Week’ highlights importance of safety at rail crossings

    The state Department of Transportation and Operation Lifesaver are holding events this week to highlight the importance of rail crossing safety in an effort to reduce collisions between trains and motor vehicles or pedestrians.

    According to the DOT, about every three hours in the United States, a person or vehicle is hit by a train. In the past five years in Connecticut, 11 vehicles were struck by trains, resulting in 17 injuries. Over the same period, there were 42 incidents involving pedestrians, resulting in 13 injuries and 33 fatalities.

    “With hundreds of active railroad crossings in Connecticut, we remind the public that the road is closed when the red lights are on and the gates are down. Stop and wait for the train to pass. Do not try to cross or outrun a train – that is a race you will never win,” state DOT Deputy Commissioner Laoise King said in a statement.

    On Tuesday, DOT and Operation Lifesaver will work with the Amtrak, Derby, New London, Norwalk, Stonington, and Wallingford Police Departments “on Operation Clear Track, a public awareness and safety event at active railroad crossings.”

    They will “emphasize the importance of obeying crossing safety and anti-trespassing laws.”

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