Operation Lifesaver

The Operation Lifesaver (OL) program started in 1972 when the average number of collisions at U.S. highway-rail grade crossings had risen above 12,000 incidents annually. To address this, the Idaho governor's office, along with the Idaho Peace Officers and Union Pacific Railroad launched a six-week public awareness educational campaign called Operation Lifesaver to promote highway-rail grade crossing safety. After Idaho's crossing-related fatalities fell that year by 43%, the successful program was adopted by Nebraska (1973) and Kansas and Georgia the following year. Within a decade it had spread around the country. In 1986 a non-profit national OL office was created to help support the efforts of state OL programs and raise national awareness on highway-rail grade crossing issues.

Today Operation Lifesaver's network of certified volunteer speakers and trained instructors offer free rail safety education programs in fifty states. We speak to school groups, driver education classes, community audiences, professional drivers, law enforcement officers and emergency responders. Our programs are co-sponsored by federal, state and local government agencies, highway safety organizations and America's railroads. Together we promote the three E's - education, enforcement and engineering - to keep people safe around the tracks and railway crossings within our communities.

The U.S. Department of Transportation projections are calling for substantial increases in rail transportation over the next three decades meaning that we, along with rail safety partners in the rail industry and at the federal, state and local levels, must work together to meet the safety challenges that accompany a rail renaissance. As advanced technology helps build quieter and faster trains, our responsibility to teach people how to be safe around them increases. As part of OL, we are committed to raising awareness and improving public safety on and around highway-rail grade crossings and tracks through public awareness and education; we're committed to saving lives.

For your free presentation, contact Denise Herding or Cynthia Olson at our Breckenridge office at (218) 643-4994.


Safety Links

American Short Line & Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA) -

Association of American Railroads (AAR) -

Bureau of Explosives (BOE) -

Chemical Transportation Emergency (CHEMTREC) -

Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) -

FRA Grade Crossing Safety and Trespassing Prevention Program -

National Operation Lifesaver -

North Dakota Safety Council -

Occupational Health and Safety (OSHA) -

Railway Industrial Clearance Association (RICA) -

About every three minutes a person or vehicle is hit by a train.


Customer Safety Training

RRVW provides basic rail yard safety training for our customers. Please contact Cynthia Olson, Operations and Administrative Manager, or Greg Voss, Transportation Operations Assistant Manager at (218) 643-4994 to schedule your free training.

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