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JEFFERSON CITY - Gov. Jay Nixon has declared the week of April 11 - 17 as Rail Safety Week in Missouri. Throughout the week, the Missouri Department of Transportation, Missouri State Highway Patrol, Missouri Operation Lifesaver, railroad personnel and local law enforcement agencies will conduct positive enforcement events at highway-rail crossings in four cities along the St. Louis to Kansas City rail corridor. They will be sending a clear message to motorists and pedestrians about the importance of safety at crossings and the deadly risks of trespassing on railroad tracks and property.
Continuous efforts to improve rail safety through education, engineering and enforcement are resulting in fewer highway-rail crossing accidents in Missouri. The number of collisions at highway-rail crossings dropped from 33 to 32, resulting in six fatalities compared to seven in 2008. There were 12 pedestrian fatalities, an increase from 10 in 2008.
"Too many people didn't make it home safely to their loved ones in 2009 because they didn't survive an encounter with a train," said MoDOT Rail Administrator Rod Massman. "These fatalities are senseless and can easily be avoided. Through several Rail Safety Week events, we will continue our efforts to educate both motorists and pedestrians about rules of the rails put in place for their safety."
Positive enforcement events during Rail Safety Week will take place in Warrensburg, Sedalia, Jefferson City and Kirkwood at the following times and crossing locations:
Jefferson City - 10 to 11:30 a.m. Monday, April 12
• Union Pacific line at Militia Dr.
Kirkwood - 10 to 11:30 a.m., Tuesday, April 13
• Union Pacific line at Taylor Ave. and Leffingwell Ave.
• BNSF line at Holmes Ave.
Sedalia - 9 to 10:30 a.m., Thursday, April 15
• Union Pacific line at North Ohio Ave.
Warrensburg - Noon to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, April 15
• Union Pacific line at Holden St.
Additional education and enforcement events targeting counties with the highest number of highway-rail crossing incidents in recent years will be scheduled throughout the remainder of the year.
Groups interested in scheduling a free rail safety presentation can sign up online at www.showmeol.org/forms/presentation.htm. For additional information, go to www.modot.org/othertransportation/rail/index.htm.
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