POST FALLS, Idaho – Local organizations and North Idaho law enforcement are teaming up in an effort to remind the public about the dangers of crossing railroad tracks.
Idaho State Police officers, as well as officials from Union Pacific Railroad and Operation Lifesaver are teaming up on Wednesday in Post Falls for “Officer on the Train.” Representatives from the organizations will be riding on trains and identifying drivers who try to beat them across the tracks; which is against Idaho crossing laws.
Law enforcement will then be dispatched to the scene to have conversations with those breaking the law. They will also be keeping an eye out for pedestrians who trespass onto the tracks.
Two more drivers getting the message from law enforcement: train safety is at the forefront in Post Falls today pic.twitter.com/9LImIq3uuv— Rob Harris (@KREMRob) April 12, 2017
Operation Lifesaver aims to promote safety on the rails. Representatives said an incident with a driver or pedestrian near railroads tracks occurs about every three hours.
"Kootenai County, historically, has the highest incident rate of all the counties here in Idaho. So, this is an area we want to focus this kind of operation on and remind people to be safe," said Travis Campbell of Operation Lifesaver.
A freight train traveling at 55 miles per hour takes more than a mile to stop, which is why it is up to drivers and pedestrians to keep out of harm’s way when nearing rails.
Getting too close to the tracks can be dangerous and even deadly. If your commute takes you through Post Falls, make sure you do what you should do automatically: Be safe near the tracks.