Union Pacific (UP) has announced that its rail safety programs helped improve public safety, with a 5 percent decline in vehicle–train collisions at railroad crossings in the first half of 2017 compared to last year. UP had a 2.27 crossing accident rate in the first half of 2017, compared to a 2.40 rate in the first half of 2016. The rate is calculated by the number of Federal Railroad Administration reportable grade crossing accidents per million train miles.
"One of the primary purposes of Union Pacific's safety programs is to reduce railroad crossing accidents and it is encouraging to see positive results," stated Cameron Scott, Union Pacific executive vice president and chief operating officer. "Communities play a big role in helping their friends, neighbors and family members staying safe around railroad tracks. We will continue working with local authorities to share our safety message and educate drivers."
At public railroad crossings, cities and counties determine where roads intersect with rail lines and warning signs. UP's Crossing Assessment Process (CAP) studies the crossing characteristics and focuses on where incidents are more likely to occur. The program identifies safety enhancements that may require working with cities to add signage such as pavement markings. UP also works with landowners at private crossings to find alternative access that does not cross the railroad.
Union Pacific's Crossing Accident Reduction and Education Safety (UP CARES) public safety program works with communities through a variety of outreach channels, with thousands of events held annually across the railroad's 23-state network. The events educate pedestrians, motorists and truck drivers on how to stay safe around railroads and grade crossings.