From Operation Lifesaver:
Seventy-five people have died in New York State from collisions with trains since 2017. Nearly 125 more people statewide have been injured during that period.
Recognizing that more publicity about track safety would save lives, a partnership between railroads, Operation Lifesaver, and state and local law enforcement, and local, state and federal agencies created Rail Safety Week in the United States and Canada in 2017.
It runs Sept. 22-28. Nearly a thousand rail safety events occur throughout North America during Rail Safety Week.
In Genesee County, there will be an event billed as a "motorist safety blitz" on Tuesday, Sept. 24, at the railroad crossing on Colby Road in Pembroke, south of Route 33 (Genesee Street). The sponsors are the Genesee County Sheriff's Office, CSX and Amtrak. The time frame is 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
This year, Rail Safety Week introduces a campaign called #STOPTrackTragedies featuring a daily release of videos with personal stories of people whose lives were affected by rail crossing or trespassing incidents.
Last year, about 2,100 people throughout North America were killed and seriously injured from collisions with trains. For nearly every collision death or injury could be avoided if people made better decisions around railroad tracks.
Nationally, vehicle-train collisions at highway-rail grade crossings rose 4.3 percent in 2018. New York bucked that trend with a 35 percent reduction in collisions from 2017 to 2018.
Operation Lifesaver state coordinator Phil Merens says the safety partnership that exists between railroads, Operation Lifesaver, law enforcement and other government agencies was productive in helping reduce collisions even before Rail Safety Week began two years ago.