Thursday, January 26th, 2012

The Morris County Division of Transportation, in conjunction with the Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders, is offering a free rail safety education program to schools and civic organizations in the county.

The program, called Operation Lifesaver, is designed to prevent collisions, injuries and fatalities on and around railroad tracks and highway-rail grade crossings, said Erik DeLine, a senior planner in the Division of Transportation who is certified and trained to make Operation Lifesaver presentations.

“Operation Lifesaver promotes the three E’s – education, enforcement and engineering – to keep people safe around the tracks and railway crossings,” DeLine said. “We have presentations that are aimed at specific audiences ranging from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade to driver education classes, community groups, professional drivers, law enforcement officers and emergency responders.”

The Federal Railroad Administration Office of Safety Analysis reports there were 30 highway-rail incidents in New Jersey, five of which were fatal, in the first 10 months of 2011. During that same period there were 15 rail “trespasser” fatalities in the state.

Operation Lifesaver is a nonprofit public awareness program that began in Idaho in 1972 to promote highway-rail grade crossing safety. It soon became a nationwide program, which is co-sponsored in New Jersey by NJ TRANSIT and the New Jersey Department of Transportation.

More information on Operation Lifesaver may be obtained at http://oli.org. To request an Operation Lifesaver presentation, contact DeLine at [email protected] or at 973-829-8101.