FRA Awards $1 Million Grant to Reduce Rail-Related Deaths

Continuing efforts to reduce collisions between trains and motor vehicles at grade crossings and discourage illegal trespassing on railroad tracks, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) announced recently that it is providing a $1 million grant to Operation Lifesaver Inc., a national non-profit railroad safety education organization that is providing $338,332 in matching funds.

"Understanding the dangers on, along, and near railroad tracks is the best way to help people avoid needless risks," said FRA Deputy Administrator Cliff Eby. He added that approximately 96 percent of rail-related deaths in America are the result of grade crossing collisions and trespassing on railroad property.

The FRA grant will be used to support Operation Lifesaver's States Assistance Program, which provides up to 50 grants to state organizations that manage railroad safety awareness programs, Eby said. In addition, the funds will support training programs such as regional workshops developed for the organization's 3,000 volunteer trainers and presenters, communications programs, and publications, including development and distribution of public service announcements.

Among the new initiatives slated for the coming year is targeted outreach to Hispanic and Latino communities. And, in response to the growing number of trespass incidents, Operation Lifesaver is reviewing all of its training and educational materials to emphasize trespass prevention efforts in public outreach programs.

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