WASHINGTON, D.C. — September 24, 2017 — The Association of American Railroads (AAR) joins the rail safety community to mark the first U.S. Rail Safety Week, September 24-30, 2017, to raise awareness on how people can stay safe near tracks. Ninety-five percent of rail-related deaths involve drivers going through a grade crossing or a person on the tracks.

“For the rail industry, there is no higher priority than safety,” said AAR President and CEO Edward R. Hamberger. “Though great progress has been made in reducing trespassing and grade crossing fatalities, our job is far from done. These deaths are preventable, and the rail industry is on a mission to ensure the public knows how to stay safe near tracks.

“All of us have a role in preventing these tragedies – including media and the business community. It is time to put an end to the glamorization of reckless behavior on or near tracks that can inspire young people to mimic these dangerous actions.”

Every three hours in the U.S., a person or vehicle is struck by a train. U.S. Rail Safety Week is a reminder to the public of the real dangers on and around rail tracks. When pedestrians and drivers approach tracks, they should always stop, look, and listen.

“It is no contest in the battle of person v. train,” added Hamberger. “When you see a railroad track, you need to think train.”

Education initiatives such as Operation Lifesaver play a critical role across the U.S. in reducing collisions, fatalities and injuries at highway-rail crossings and trespassing on or near railroad tracks. For information on what role Operation Lifesaver plays in rail safety education, please visit For information on the “See Tracks? Think Train!” campaign, please visit

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For more information contact: AAR Media Relations at [email protected] or 202-639-2345.

About AAR: The AAR is the world’s leading railroad policy, research and technology organization focusing on the safety and productivity of rail carriers. AAR members include the major freight railroads of the U.S., Canada and Mexico, as well as Amtrak.

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