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Community Roll Call

Members of the Wauwatosa Police Department's Community Support Division, with backup provided by the folks at, are now blogging. We will be providing you with an ongoing series of crime prevention tips, any current crime trends as well as pertinent news and notes as it relates to your Police Department.

Railroad Crossing Safety Part I

Safety, Auto, Pedestrian

The next few blog postings will contain information from Operation Lifesaver. This information is published in an effort to educate motorists and pedestrians in the hopes that we can prevent needless tragedies at railroad crossings.

In this first posting I want to just lay out some facts as it relates to “Grade crossings”, those crossings where trains tracks and roads intersect at the same level. These are national statistics provided by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation and Wisconsin’s Operation Lifesaver program.

  • A vehicle – train crash occurs about every 115 minutes
  • One motorist is killed daily in vehicle – train crashes
  • A motorist is 20 times more likely to die in a vehicle – train crash than in other motor vehicle accidents
  • More people die in highway – rail crashes each year than in airplane crashes
  • Over 65% of grade crossing crashes occur at crossings where active warning devices exist
  • Most vehicle – train crashes occur at grade crossings within 25 miles of the motorist’s home

Railroad Crossing Safety Part II

Auto, Pedestrian

Railroad Safety Quiz.

All answers are either True or False and will be listed at the bottom of this blog. Play fair and test your knowledge.

  1. Walking on the railroad tracks or the right of ways on either side of the tracks is illegal.
  1. You will be safe if you don not walk between the rails staying on the ties.
  1. It is safe to cross the tracks anywhere as long as you can see ¼ mile in each direction.
  1. A locomotive is not always at the front of the train.
  1. It is safe to cross the tracks just as soon as the last car passes the crossing.
  1. As a pedestrian, it is safe to ignore the flashing red lights at the crossing.
  1. Trains are noisy. You will have plenty of time to step out of the train’s path when you hear a train coming.
  1. Playing on rail equipment, tracks or railcars is forbidden.
  1. Crossing tracks with a baby stroller, in a wheelchair or on other narrow wheels requires caution and extra attention.

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