Friday, March 27, 2015

ISP and Local Law Enforcement to Conduct Special Enforcement Patrols Along Railways in Southeastern Idaho

Teresa Baker
Public Information Officer
700 S. Stratford Dr., Meridian 83642
(208) 884-7122
Fax (208) 884-7087

For Immediate Release: 3/27/15 at 12:35 p.m.

IDAHO FALLS - The Idaho State Police will be conducting "Trooper on a Train" and "Adopt a Crossing" enforcement operation throughout southeastern Idaho on Monday, March 30th. The dedicated patrols are in cooperation with Operation Lifesaver, Union Pacific, the Pocatello, Blackfoot and Idaho Falls Police Departments and the Bannock, Bingham and Bonneville County Sheriff's Offices.

"State and local law enforcement are once again participating in this important operation with a goal to increase public awareness of the potential dangers that exist at railroad intersections that can have tragic consequences," said Idaho State Police Lt. Chris Weadick. "We hope that by letting the public know that we are focusing on enforcing the traffic laws that pertain to these intersections that drivers, as well as, pedestrians, will always be more careful near railways."

During the "Trooper on a Train" enforcement effort, one trooper rides in the lead locomotive of a train as a spotter. This trooper observes traffic approaching the rail intersections as the train proceeds down the tracks. Other law enforcement officers pace the train or are parked at specified locations. When a motorist is observed violating the laws pertaining to approaching a rail intersection, the trooper on the train radios the nearest patrol car, with the information. That officer will stop the motorist, explain the dangers and issue a citation, if warranted.

"Adopt a Crossing" will also take place on Thursday. Officers and troopers will pick a rail crossing within their jurisdiction and focus on enforcing the laws that pertain to that crossing.

Thus far in 2015, there have been two vehicle/train collisions in Idaho. In 2014, Idaho had 20 vehicle/train collisions resulting in one fatality along with two pedestrians who were killed while on train tracks.

Tips for crossing tracks safely:

- Always expect a train on any train track, at any time.

- Slow down as you approach all railroad crossings and be prepared to stop if necessary.

- Never drive around lowered gates - it's dangerous and illegal.

- Proceed through a crossing only if you are sure you can completely clear it without stopping.

- Trains can't stop quickly because of their size and weight.

- Don't stop on the tracks, it's illegal.

- If you suspect a signal is malfunctioning, call the number posted on or near the crossing signal, local law enforcement or Idaho State Police at *ISP (*477).

- If you find yourself in the path of a train, get out of the way, and if your vehicle is stuck, immediately get out of the vehicle and away from the tracks.

Newsroom Information Only

The "Trooper on a Train" enforcement operation will occur in Bannock, Bingham and Bonneville counties on Monday, March 30th between 7:00 am and 3:00 pm. Briefing will begin at Pocatello Depot located at 300 S. Harrison Ave. Space is limited on the train, press personnel will be accommodated on a first come first serve basis. For additional information, or to arrange a ride along on the train, please contact:

Travis Campbell, Idaho Operation Lifesaver 208-412-2481
Lt. Chris Weadick, Idaho State Police 208-525-7377