DECATUR, Ala. – According to Alabama Operation Lifesaver every three hours a vehicle or person is hit by a train in the United States, and more than 250 lives are lost.
Those numbers are why Operation Lifesaver is on a 40 city tour across Alabama to promote railroad safety. They said currently Alabama ranks number six in the country with the highest number of train related crashes. The organization is hoping the tour will influence first responders to take their classes.
"We want to give them the information that first responders need to keep them safe, so they can make it back home at the end of the day," Operation Lifesaver Executive Director Nancy Hudson said.
Decatur Mayor Don Kyle said he's 100 percent on board with first responders and community members learning more about railroad safety. He said he has a co-worker who's lost a child due to a train incident.
"I can't see her without thinking about that tragic evening, that wasn't long ago but it affects you for the rest of your life," Mayor Don Kyle said.
Alabama's Public Service Commissioner said there's a misconception about trains appearing at a certain hour everyday, but that's not true. Trains can come anytime of the day, so it's best to stay alert and be on the lookout.
Mayor Kyle said there are more than 80 trains that come in and out of his city and not every railroad has the best safety features due to finances, but he agrees with operation lifesaver; if you see tracks think train.
For more information about Operation Lifesaver or safety tips visit: https://oli.org