Amtrak work on Palmer Street crossing causing detours

Sun file photo

STONINGTON — Officers will be busy by the town’s train tracks on Tuesday as part of a nationwide effort to raise awareness to railroad crossing safety.

Stonington Police Capt. Todd Olson said the campaign will include both enforcement and education components and is being done in partnership with Amtrak police and Operation Lifesaver, a nonprofit organization that focuses on railroad safety education. The program, known as “Operation Clear Track” is part of the national Rail Safety Week campaign, which involves more than 600 law enforcement agencies across the U.S.

“During ‘Operation Clear Track,’ Stonington police personnel will be stationed at targeted railroad grade crossing locations to issue citations or warnings to violators,” Stonington Police Capt. Todd Olson said in a press release. “Officials will also disseminate railroad safety cards to motorists and pedestrians.”

The third annual rail safety detail, which will be carried out in 48 states, is the single largest rail safety law enforcement initiative in the U.S.

According to the Operation Lifesaver website, the goal of Rail Safety Week is to reduce pedestrian and driver injuries and fatalities around railroad tracks through increased public awareness and enforcement.

The U.S. Department of Transportation reported that a person or vehicle is hit by a train once every three hours in the U.S. These crashes lead to nearly 1,000 train-related deaths each year.

For more information on railroad safety including tips, visit Operation Lifesaver’s national website at oli.org. For details about Operation Clear Track, visit stayoffthetrack.org.

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