In New York State during 1980, trains collided with people and vehicles 159 times, nearly every other day. These collisions resulted in 22 fatalities.
In 2022, there were 35 incidents and 5 fatalities, a reduction in collisions and fatalities of 78% compared to 1980.
This improvement in safety is due to the efforts of train safety advocates like New York Operation Lifesaver, significant investment in safety engineering by government and industry, and help from law enforcement.
To spread our message of track safety, NYOL works with government agencies like the Federal Railroad Administration, New York State Department of Transportation and the NYS Department of Motor Vehicles, as well as commuter and freight railroads, and law enforcement agencies across New York.
There are about 2,700 public railroad crossings in New York.
About 3/4s of those are active crossings equipped with flashing red lights or both flashing red lights and gates.
Nationwide roughly 54% of public railroad crossings are equipped with active warning devices.
New York has one of the lowest grade crossing accident rates in the country, even though traffic volumes on both the rail and highway system have shown steady and significant increases over the last 30 years.
Trespassing Fatalities Remain a Big Problem
When Operation Lifesaver began 50 years ago, collisions at railroad crossings accounted for the vast majority of railroad related deaths. As education, enforcement and engineering improvements have steadily reduced railroad crossing collisions, trespass related collisions and deaths have remained relatively constant. Never run, walk or bicycle on or near railroad tracks. Find out more about how to stay safe and avoid trespassing on railroad property