'Operation Clear Track' focuses on rail safety, Illinois ranked 3rd in nation for railroad crossing fatalities

CHICAGO (WLS) -- It's Illinois Rail Safety Week, and police across the state are partnering with rail and government officials to promote "Operation Clear Track."

This campaign is the single largest rail-safety law-enforcement initiative in North America.

Monday, officials warned drivers and pedestrians they'll be strictly enforcing rail safety rules.

Coordinated by Amtrak, Operation Lifesaver Inc. and Operation Lifesaver, Operation Clear Track aims to reduce the number of railway crossing and trespassing incidents in Canada and the U.S. incidents which seriously injure or kill more than 2,100 people each year.

More than 500 police and sheriff departments across North America have signed up for the initiative, which takes place annually during Rail Safety Week beginning September 22nd. Participating police departments will work together to enforce rail crossing and trespassing laws, and distribute rail-safety tip sheets to drivers, pedestrians and cyclists.

Last year Illinois ranked third in the nation in collision fatalities.

Metra plans to perform station safety blitzes at various railroad crossings throughout the week.
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