PETALUMA, CA — The Petaluma Police Department is participating with other first responder agencies in the United States and Canada in "Operation Clear Track," a rail-safety educational initiative conducted during the annual Rail Safety Week, authorities said.
The operation is coordinated by Amtrak, Operation Lifesaver Inc. and Operation Lifesaver Canada.
The goal of Operation Clear Track and Rail Safety Week, which runs through Sept. 27, is to raise awareness of the importance of safe behavior near tracks, trains and to reduce violations and trespassing — incidents which seriously injure or kill more than 2,100 people each year in the U.S. and Canada, organizers said.
In Petaluma, between August 2019 and August 2020, the police department saw a 6 percent increase in "calls for service" at or near the train tracks, officers said, adding: "Respect the rails, your life depends on it."
Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, first responder agencies this year will promote rail safety through social media messages, by sharing Operation Lifesaver's #STOPTrackTragedies public service announcements and other videos, and by posting other rail safety information to their department websites.
Participants will also emphasize the importance of obeying railcrossing and trespassing laws throughout Rail Safety Week.
Follow this link for more information about Rail Safety Week, Operation Clear Track and other rail-safety initiatives and tips.
The video below is a 2019 public-service announcement on rail safety released as a collaboration between Petaluma police, SMART and local entities. Take a look ...