The Downers Grove Police Department will be participating in Illinois Rail Safety Week, September 22-28, 2019, which promotes vehicle and pedestrian safety around railroad tracks and trains. Other agencies in Illinois participating include Metra, CN Railroad and Illinois Operation Lifesaver, along with 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.
In Illinois during 2018, there were 86 collisions at public highway-rail crossings involving motor vehicles or pedestrians, which resulted in 26 injuries and 15 fatalities. In addition, there were 40 Iincidents when people tresspassed on to railroad property, resulting in 18 injuries and 22 fatalities. During 2018, Illinois ranked 3rd in the nation in collision fatalities and 5th in the nation in trespasser fatalities.
Education and enforcement activities are planned during the week at railroad grade crossings and commuter stations in Downers Grove. Police officers will 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 85 percent of all collisions occur at crossings with active warning devices (flashing lights, gates, and ringing bells).
For more information about Illinois Rail Safety Week, please visit www.illinoisrailsafetyweek.org or contact the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police.