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CTDOT and Operation Lifesaver Highlight Rail Safety Week 2023

The Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) and Operation Lifesaver highlighted the importance of rail crossing safety earlier today with a special press conference to kick off Rail Safety Week 2023.

The annual Rail Safety Week event helps raise awareness to reduce collisions between trains and motor vehicles or pedestrians and prevent track tragedies. About every three hours in the United States, a person or vehicle is hit by a train. Over the last five years in Connecticut (2018-2022), 11 vehicles were struck by trains, resulting in 17 injuries. Over the same time, there were 42 incidents involving pedestrians, resulting in 13 injuries and 33 fatalities.

CTDOT was joined by Senator Richard Blumenthal, local and state law enforcement, and rail safety partners at the Wallingford Railroad Station along the Hartford Line. Governor Ned Lamont also issued a special statement proclaiming September 18-24, 2023, as Rail Safety Week 2023 in Connecticut.

“With hundreds of active railroad crossings in Connecticut, we remind the public that the road is closed when the red lights are on and the gates are down. Stop and wait for the train to pass. Do not try to cross or outrun a train – that is a race you will never win,” said Connecticut Department of Transportation Deputy Commissioner Laoise King. “Thanks to a strong partnership with Operation Lifesaver and with our dedicated CTDOT staff, we are making strides to improve rail safety and prevent track tragedies. Thank you to our elected officials, members of law enforcement, and rail partners for helping us raise awareness during Rail Safety Week 2023.”

CTDOT and Operation Lifesaver will hold various events during Rail Safety Week 2023. Members of the media are encouraged to attend the following:

  • Tuesday, September 19, Operation Clear Track: To emphasize the importance of obeying crossing safety and anti-trespassing laws, CTDOT and Operation Lifesaver will work with the Amtrak, Derby, New London, Norwalk, Stonington, and Wallingford Police Departments on Operation Clear Track, a public awareness and safety event at active railroad crossings.
  • Wednesday, September 20, School Bus Crossing Safety: To highlight crossing safety, CTDOT and Operation Lifesaver will distribute safety information to school bus drivers in New Haven and Stamford.
  • Thursday, September 21, Commuter Safety: To remind riders of safety around railroad tracks, CTDOT and Operation Lifesaver will speak with commuters at New Haven Union Station, Bridgeport Station, and Stamford Transportation Center throughout the day.
  • Friday, September 22, First Responders: To increase public safety, CTDOT and Operation Lifesaver will work with the Ansonia, Bridgeport, New Haven and Plainville Fire Departments on training and safety guidelines.

CTDOT and Operation Lifesaver encourage all people to practice railroad safety during Rail Safety Week 2023 and every day of the year. Connecticut is a leader in supporting highway-rail grade crossing and pedestrian safety programs through its local Operation Lifesaver Program.

For more information on Operation Lifesaver, visit oli.org.


Twitter: @CTDOTOfficial
Facebook: Connecticut Department of Transportation


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