Rail Safety Week is Sept. 19-25
BRIDGEWATER — Chief Christopher D. Delmonte is pleased to announce that the Bridgewater Police Department will join law enforcement agencies in the 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. 20 from 9 a.m. to noon
The rain date is Wednesday, Sept. 21
- Railroad crossing at Broad Street and Spring Street
- Railroad crossing at Plymouth Street and Hale Street
According to Operation Lifesaver, a person or vehicle is hit by a train every three hours. Operation Clear Track aims to reduce the number of railway crossing and trespassing incidents in the U.S. and Canada. The campaign is spearheaded in the U.S. by Amtrak with support from Operation Lifesaver, Inc.
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.
As part of Operation Clear Track and Rail Safety Week, Operation Lifesaver provides the following railroad crossing safety tips for drivers and pedestrians:
- Never drive or walk around lowered grade crossing gates. Cross train tracks only at designated pedestrian or roadway crossings, and obey all warning signs and signals.
- Never attempt to outrun an approaching train. Remember that a train can take a mile or more to stop.
- Never stop your vehicle on a grade crossing waiting for traffic to move.
- Always slow down and stop your vehicle prior to train tracks when lights begin to flash. Never begin to drive across the tracks unless you can get all the way across.
- The average train is three feet wider than the track on each side, putting the safety zone for pedestrians well beyond the three foot mark.
- Stay alert around railroad tracks. Refrain from texting, using headphones or other distractions that would prevent you from hearing an approaching train.
- Freight trains don’t travel at fixed times, and schedules for passenger trains often change. Always expect a train at each railroad intersection at any time.
- Never walk, run, play or take pictures on the railroad right-of-way. If you are on or near the tracks, you are trespassing on private property and breaking the law. All train tracks are private property.
- Trains have the right of way 100% of the time over emergency vehicles, cars, the police and pedestrians.
- Today’s trains are quieter than ever, producing no telltale “clackety-clack.” Any approaching train is always closer and moving faster than you think. Trains cannot stop quickly enough to avoid a collision.
- Call the Emergency Notification System number, located near the crossing, to report problems or obstructions at the crossing.
Operation Lifesaver is celebrating 50 years of rail safety in 2022. The first U.S. Rail Safety Week was held Sept. 24-30, 2017. In 2018 and 2019, Rail Safety Week was held jointly in Canada and the U.S., with the overall theme, “Stop Track Tragedies.” Over 50 years, the number of train/motor vehicle collisions has declined 83% from a 1972 high of roughly 12,000 annual incidents to approximately 2,100 incidents in 2021.
For more information about Rail Safety Week, Operation Clear Track, and other rail-safety initiatives and tips, visit www.oli.org.