Rail Safety Week is Sept. 20-26
BRIDGEWATER — Chief Christopher D. Delmonte is pleased to announce that the Bridgewater Police Department will join law enforcement agencies in U.S. and Canada once again this year for “Operation Clear Track” — the single largest rail-safety law-enforcement initiative in North America.
Tuesday, Sept. 21 from 9 a.m. to noon
(The rain date is Wednesday, Sept. 22.)
- Railroad crossing at Spring Street and Broad Street (Route 18)
- Railroad crossing at Hale Street and Plymouth Street (Route 104)
According to Operation Lifesaver, a person or vehicle is hit by a train every three hours. Coordinated by Amtrak, Operation Lifesaver Inc. and Operation Lifesaver Canada, Operation Clear Track aims to reduce the number of railway crossing and trespassing incidents in the U.S. and Canada.
During Operation Clear Track, Bridgewater Police officers will be stationed at targeted railroad crossings near Spring Street and Hale Street to hand out railroad safety cards to drivers and pedestrians and issue warnings and citations to violators.
“We are pleased to be participating in Operation Clear Track once again this year,” Chief Delmonte said. “By having officers stationed near railroad crossings in town, we hope to educate pedestrians, cyclists and drivers in Bridgewater about railroad crossing laws and how to stay safe around train tracks.”
As part of Operation Clear Track, Operation Lifesaver provides the following railroad crossing safety tips for drivers and pedestrians:
- Freight trains don’t travel at fixed times, and schedules for passenger trains often change. Always expect a train at each highway-rail intersection at any time.
- All train tracks are private property. Never walk on tracks; it’s illegal trespassing and highly dangerous. It takes the average freight train traveling at 55 mph more than a mile—the length of 18 football fields—to stop. Trains cannot stop quickly enough to avoid a collision.
- The average locomotive weighs about 400,000 pounds or 200 tons. This makes the weight ratio of a car to a train proportional to that of a soda can to a car. We all know what happens to a soda can hit by a car.
- Trains have the right of way 100% of the time over emergency vehicles, cars, the police and pedestrians.
- A train can extend three feet or more beyond the steel rail, putting the safety zone for pedestrians well beyond the three foot mark. If there are rails on the railroad ties, always assume the track is in use, even if there are weeds or the track looks unused.
- Trains can move in either direction at any time. Sometimes its cars are pushed by locomotives instead of being pulled, which is especially true in commuter and light rail passenger service.
- Today’s trains are quieter than ever, producing no telltale “clackety-clack.” Any approaching train is always closer, moving faster, than you think.
- Remember to cross train tracks ONLY at designated pedestrian or roadway crossings, and obey all warning signs and signals posted there.
- Stay alert around railroad tracks. Refrain from texting, headphones or other distractions that would prevent you from hearing an approaching train; never mix rails and recreation.
For more information about Rail Safety Week, Operation Clear Track, and other rail-safety initiatives and tips, visit www.oli.org.