WASHINGTON, DC – September 21, 2020 – The Association of American Railroads (AAR) joins the rail safety community to mark U.S. Rail Safety Week, September 21-27, 2020, and increase public awareness on staying safe near tracks. Every three hours in the U.S., a person or vehicle is struck by a train. These tragedies are overwhelmingly preventable.

“Fatalities due to highway-rail grade crossing collisions and passenger trespassing are the single most persistent rail safety challenge – and tragically, they are almost always preventable,” said AAR President and CEO Ian Jefferies. “While we have made meaningful progress, Rail Safety Week is a time to redouble our efforts to educate the public on staying safe near the tracks. Together, we can save lives.”

According to Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) data, ninety-five percent of rail-related deaths involve drivers going through a grade crossing or a person on the tracks. U.S. Rail Safety Week is a reminder to the public of the real dangers on and around rail tracks. You can protect yourself and your loved ones by following these top five rail safety tips:

  • Look and listen for trains as you approach any railroad crossing — obey all signs, warning lights and gates.
  • Trains are quieter and faster than you think — never try to beat a train.
  • Because of their size and weight, it can take a mile or more to stop a train.
  • Always expect a train on any track, in any direction; avoid distractions when you approach a crossing.
  • Rail property is private property. Walking on the tracks is illegal and dangerous.

For information on what role Operation Lifesaver plays in rail safety education, please visit http://oli.org/. For information on the “See Tracks? Think Train!” campaign, please visit http://seetracksthinktrain.org/.


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

About AAR: The Association of American Railroads (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.