WASHINGTON — With deer hunting season in full swing in many states, Operation Lifesaver is reminding outdoor enthusiasts that hunting on or near train tracks is not only illegal trespassing, it could be deadly.
Last year, 456 people died and 429 were injured while trespassing on railroad property nationwide, according to preliminary federal statistics.
Operation Lifesaver is taking action to save lives by issuing pedestrian safety tips in time for hunting season. In addition, a new Operation Lifesaver hunting safety video has been posted on YouTube. A number of state Operation Lifesaver programs also are running billboard campaigns urging pedestrians to stay off of and away from train tracks.
“Trains move faster than you may think; they can be quieter than you think, and they can’t stop quickly to avoid someone on the tracks,” said Helen M. Sramek, president of Operation Lifesaver, Inc. “Because any time is train time, hunting on or near tracks is like playing Russian roulette.
“These safety messages reinforce our Common Sense pedestrian safety campaign, reminding the public that it’s important to use your common sense every day, especially around train tracks,” Sramek added.
Pedestrian Rail Safety Tips
- Walking, hunting, fishing or riding snowmobiles or ATVs on tracks is trespassing; it’s dangerous and illegal. Trespassers are subject to arrest and/or fines.
- At designated crossings, check before crossing for trains moving in different directions on multiple tracks.
- Distractions can be deadly, too; turn your cell phone and MP3 players off when you’re near train tracks.
- Stay three or four feet away from railroad tracks – locomotives and rail cars are wider than the tracks.
- It can take a mile or more to stop a train.