Revised 7/09 2
Keeping the grade crossing portion of this transportation network operating safely and efficiently involves local, state and federal governments as well as the private sector. These safety efforts can be summarized as the Three E’s - Education, Engineering and Enforcement.
Education: The ICC is actively involved in developing programs to educate the public about the danger at grade crossings. One example of this public education program is the ICC’s participation in Operation Lifesaver. The Operation Lifesaver program is a public-private partnership designed to increase public awareness of highway-rail grade crossing hazards. It also strives to improve driver and pedestrian behavior at railroad crossings by encouraging compliance with traffic laws relating to crossing signs and signals.
Enforcement: Enforcement of existing traffic and trespass laws is key, especially the issuance of fines (up to $500) or community service to persons crossing railroad tracks after the warning signals have activated.
Engineering: Grade crossing safety improvements are also critical to reducing collisions. The ICC orders physical and system improvements, including the installation and upgrading of grade crossing warning signs and signals and, where warranted, grade separations. While education and enforcement are absolutely essential, the focus of this report is the engineering of capital improvements to further railroad crossing safety on local roads.
2008 IN REVIEW - Collision and Fatality Rates
In 2008, preliminary statistics indicate there were 129 collisions at public crossings in Illinois, a 1 percent (1%) decrease compared to 2007 figures. National preliminary figures for 2008 indicate 2,041 collisions occurred, compared to 2,319 in 2007, which is an 11 percent (11%) decrease. As can be seen from the following charts, the trend both nationally and in Illinois is a steady decrease in collisions, except between 2003 and 2004, when there was a marked increase in collisions year over year.
Click tabs to swap between content that is broken into logical sections.