Operation Lifesaver is a public information and education program dedicated to reducing
the number of crashes, injuries and fatalities at the nation's numerous highway-rail grade
crossings. Operation Lifesaver, Inc.
What Operation Lifesaver is...
...An active, continuous public information and education program to help prevent
and reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities and improve driver performance at the nation's
300,000 public and private highway-rail grade crossings.
Why it is needed...
...Because thousands of people are seriously injured and hundreds are
killed in the nearly 6,000 highway-rail grade crossing crashes each year.
...Because a highway-rail grade crossing presents a unique traffic environment for
motorists, many drivers do not cross railroad tracks often enough to be familiar with the
warning devices designed for their safety. Often they are unaware that trains
cannot stop as quickly as motor vehicles to avoid collision. Others simply
ignore all warning signs because they are "in a hurry" and would rather play
"beat the train" than wait. Driver ignorance and impatience are the most
common factors contributing to motor vehicle/train collisions at highway-rail grade
When it began...
...Operation Lifesaver was born in Idaho in 1972 after Union Pacific
Railroad and community leaders in the state decided to band together and fight the growing
number of highway-rail grade crossing crashes, injuries and fatalities with a public
education program. The result? At the end of the first year, the highway-rail grade
crossing fatality rate dropped a resounding 39 percent.
...A second program, initiated in Nebraska, demonstrated even more impressive results
after a one-year period -- a 46 percent reduction in rail/highway grade crossing
Where it is active...
...All states have their own Operation Lifesaver programs. It is at
the grassroots level -- in the cities, in rural communities, and in the schools where
Operation Lifesaver has been most effective. States have reported fatality
reductions at highway-rail grade crossings ranging from 28 percent to 100 percent one year
after establishing the program.
Who gets involved...
...The nation's railroads, related federal, state, and local governments,
business, railroad suppliers, labor,civic and community leaders and other concerned safety
professionals are all part of state programs. But it doesn't end there.
Any person, including yourself and your organization, is welcome to join in a state
program or become involved at the local level doing whatever you can to help educate
motorists that they need to exercise greater care when driving across highway-rail
How you can help...
...As we've said, the key to success of Operation Lifesaver is through
participation at the grassroots level. You can become involved by contacting
Operation Lifesaver, Inc. or Connie Greguson, SD state Coordinator. Your local
PTA, church, woman's club, civic or fraternal organizations to which you belong may want
to be a part of Operation Lifesaver.
Operational Lifesaver Promotional materials may be obtained from the South Dakota Safety Council/Operation
Connie Greguson, Office Administrator
3211 South Carolyn Avenue
Sioux Falls, SD 57106
Phone: (605) 361-7785, (800) 952-5539
FAX: (605) 361-2156