Friday, July 10, 2015

"Officer on a Train" Operation in Bonneville, Jefferson and Madison Counties on Monday in Cooperation with Operation Lifesaver

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

For Immediate Release: 7/10/15 at 11:20 a.m.

IDAHO FALLS - The Idaho State Police along with local law enforcement will be conducting "Officer on a Train" and "Adopt a Crossing" enforcement operation in Bonneville, Jefferson and Madison counties on Monday, July 13th. The dedicated patrols are in cooperation with Idaho Operation Lifesaver, Eastern Idaho Railroad, the Bonneville, Jefferson and Madison County Sheriff's Offices and the Rexburg Police Department.

"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 "Officer on a Train" enforcement effort, one officer rides in the lead locomotive of a train as a spotter. This officer 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 officer 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 Monday. 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 4 vehicle/train collisions in Idaho. Surprisingly, there were no injuries or deaths in those crashes. In 2014, there were 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 "Officer on a Train" enforcement operation will occur in Bonneville, Jefferson and Madison counties on Monday, July 13th between 7:30 am and 3:00 pm. A press briefing will be conducted at 7:30 am at 1050 N. Emerson Ave. in Idaho Falls. Space is limited on the train, you must make arrangements by the end of business July 10, 2015. It will be first come first serve after this date. For additional information, or to arrange a ride along on the train, please contact:

Lt. Chris Weadick, Idaho State Police 208-525-7377
Teresa Baker, Idaho State Police 208-884-7122
Travis Campbell, Idaho Operation Lifesaver 208- 412-2481