A rail safety education group will be teaming up with Wauwatosa Police and Canadian Pacific Saturday to share information about how to be safe around railroad tracks.
Operation Lifesaver will have State Director Gary Koerner joined by its own and community volunteers at various locations along the railroad line in Wauwatosa. That includes:
- Farmers Market from 8 a.m. to noon.
- 68th and State Street from 2 to 5 p.m.
- 70th and State Street from 2 to 5 p.m.
- 72nd and State Street from 2 to 5 p.m.
The event comes after 13-year-old Davey Murray was struck by an Amtrak train back on June 24 when he tried to cross the railroad tracks around Hart Park. There have been two deaths due to people being struck by trains so far this year.
Pedestrian safety tips they will be passing along includes:
- Rail safety is for everyone, not just drivers. Pedestrians who choose to walk or play around railroad tracks are trespassing on private property and could be fined, seriously injured or killed.
- The only safe place to cross is at a designated public crossing with either a crossbuck, flashing red lights or a gate. If you cross at any other place, you are trespassing and can be ticketed or fined. Cross tracks only at designated pedestrian or roadway crossings.
- Railroad tracks, trestles, yards and equipment are private property and trespassers are subject to arrest and fine. If you are in a rail yard uninvited by a railroad official you are trespassing and subject to criminal prosecution; you could be injured or killed in a busy rail yard.
- It can take a mile or more to stop a train, so a locomotive engineer who suddenly sees someone on the tracks will likely be unable to stop in time. Railroad property is private property. For your safety, it is illegal to be there unless you are at a designated public crossing.
- Trains overhang the tracks by at least three feet in both directions; loose straps hanging from rail cars may extend even further. If you are in the right-of-way next to the tracks, you can be hit by the train.
- Do not cross the tracks immediately after a train passes. A second train might be blocked by the first. Trains can come from either direction. Wait until you can see clearly around the first train in both directions.
- Flashing red lights indicate a train is approaching from either direction. You can be fined for failure to obey these signals. Never walk around or behind lowered gates at a crossing, and do not cross the tracks until the lights have stopped flashing and it’s safe to do so.