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Illinois Railway Safety

Published on November 18th, 2015

Illinois has the second highest rate of train related accidents in the United States. In 2014, there were 134 crashes at crossings of railroad tracks and 46 people were killed on or near railroad tracks because of trespassing. More people die as a result of railway-related incidences than plane crashes in the United States. In fact, fatality is forty times more likely in a train collision than in an automobile collision. The majority of these crashes occur while the train is moving at a speed of 30 mph or less. These accidents are largely preventable, and citizens need to be educated about railway safety in order to avert future accidents.

The Illinois Commerce Commission has implemented a program to decrease the number of train-related accidents in Illinois called Illinois Operation Lifesaver. The program aims to do three things: educate, enforce, and engineer. The education aspect of the program will push material out to citizens that informs them about railway safety, laws, and best practices in light of railways. Enforcement means that the program strives to enforce these laws strictly. Fines for trespassing on railroads or in yards can be up to $500. The last component of the program is engineering. The goal here is to make sure that crossings and equipment are designed and produced to be as efficient, safe, and well-maintained as possible.

Although this initiative is making strides toward a safer Illinois, it is important that citizens take safety into their own hands. Educating yourself on railway safety can be a life-saving measure. However, it is not always the fault of the driver or pedestrian. Sometimes, the railroad company or employees may be at fault for collisions or accidents. If the rail company does not meet the standards of care to which they are upheld, the results may be devastating and unfair. This is where Shea Law Group may be able to help. If you or a loved one have been the victim of a train-related accident and you suspect that the rail company or its employees may be at fault, please contact us today to discuss your options.

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