Monday, September 21, 2015

Idaho State Police to Participate in Trooper on a Train Operation on Tuesday

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

For Immediate Release: 9/21/15 at 2:15 p.m.

MERIDIAN - The Idaho State Police will be conducting "Trooper on a Train" and "Adopt a Crossing" enforcement operation in cooperation with Operation Lifesaver and the Boise, Meridian and Nampa Police Departments throughout the Treasure Valley on Tuesday, September 22, 2015.

"ISP is once again participating in this important enforcement operation with a goal to increase public awareness of the potential dangers that exist at railroad intersections and to eliminate driver actions that can have tragic consequences," said Idaho State Police Sgt. Matt Smith. "We hope that by letting the public know that we are focusing on enforcing the traffic laws that pertain to these intersections that motorists 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 Tuesday. Idaho State Police and participating city and county law enforcement officers throughout the Treasure Valley 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 7 vehicle/train collisions including one fatality and four incidents involving pedestrians in Idaho. In 2014, there were 20 vehicle/train collisions resulting in one fatality along with two pedestrians who were killed.

The Idaho State Police and Idaho Operation Lifesaver are proud to partner in eliminating car/train collisions, which result in preventable deaths and injuries. Since 1990, enforcement programs such as "Trooper on a Train" and "Adopt a Crossing" have been instrumental in helping to reduce the number of car/train collisions in Idaho. State and federal transportation agencies, city, county and state law enforcement officers, along with the private business and the railroads that operate in Idaho sponsor the Idaho Operation Lifesaver program.

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 "Officer on a Train" enforcement operation will occur in Ada and Canyon on Tuesday, September 22nd between 7:30 am and 3:00 pm. A press briefing will be conducted at 7:30 am on 3rd Street and the rail tracks in Meridian. Space is limited on the train and it will be first come first serve for press on the train. For additional information please contact:

Teresa Baker, Idaho State Police 208-884-7122
Travis Campbell, Idaho Operation Lifesaver 208-412-2481