Thursday, April 23, 2009
PUBLIC INFORMATION ANNOUNCEMENT
For Immediate Release
April 23, 2009
Wells Road Railroad Crossing Site of Friday Blitz; Train Safety Awareness Week
ORANGE PARK, Fla. – April 23, 2009 – The Clay County Sheriff’s Office, in cooperation with CSX Transportation and Florida Operation Lifesaver (OL), will conduct an informational blitz this Friday at the railroad crossing at Wells Road, Orange Park.
The blitz, from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., is to raise public awareness of the potential dangers of rail-highway crossings as well as the need for pedestrians to exercise extreme caution around tracks. Gov. Charlie Crist has declared April 19-25 as Train Safety Awareness Week, and the Orange Park blitz is one of several taking place around the state.
Florida is the ninth highest state among the fifty states in crossing incidents with seventy-four (74) last year. The state also ranks fourth in trespass fatalities with twenty-six (26) in 2008. The blitz is intended to focus attention on grade crossings and to alert pedestrians to cross tracks only at those crossings.
No train-vehicle collisions have occurred at this busy Wells Road crossing, and sheriff’s deputies, CSXT and Florida OL want to keep it that way.
“Our objective is to make contact with motorists and to remind them that crossing collisions can be avoided, if motorists obey traffic laws and are aware of their surroundings,” said CCSO Traffic Unit Sergeant Mike Punsky. “We will be talking to pedestrians, too, and reminding them that railroad tracks are private property and to use the rail-highway crossing if they must cross the tracks.”
Media are encouraged to park vehicles safely in the area and contact deputies, CSXT or Operation Lifesaver representatives at the crossing blitz.