September 21-27, 2020: Rail Safety Week

WHEREAS, in 2019, there were 2,220 rail grade crossing collisions which resulted in 812 personal injuries and 294 fatalities in the United States; and,


WHEREAS, in 2019, the United States had 1,111 trespassing incidents which resulted in 579 pedestrian fatalities and 532 injuries while trespassing on railroad property rights of way; and,


WHEREAS, highway-grade crossing crashes are more severe than highway collisions and are more likely to result in death or serious injury; and


WHEREAS, educating and informing the public about rail safety, reminding the public that railroad right of ways are private property, enhancing the public awareness of the dangers associated with highway-rail grade crossings, ensuring pedestrians and motorists are looking and listening while near railways, and obeying established traffic laws will reduce the number of fatalities and injuries; and,


WHEREAS, Operation Lifesaver is the foremost public information and education program dedicated to preventing highway-rail grade crossing crashes and pedestrian/railroad trespass incidents; and,


WHEREAS, all citizens are encouraged to educate themselves on the dangers of railroad crossings and properties and to observe added caution during this time and throughout the year, which will lead to greater safety awareness and a reduction in highway-rail grade crossing crashes and pedestrian/railroad incidents; and,


WHEREAS, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, National Operation Lifesaver, United States Department of Transportation, and all local, state, county, and railroad law enforcement officers, first responders, and railroad corporations commit to partnering together in an effort to educate all aspects of railroad safety at a national level and to enforcing applicable laws in support of the National Rail Safety Week;


NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim September 21-27, 2020, as Rail Safety Week in Michigan.