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Public Safety News
Operation LifeSaver, Inc.
News Release
Friday, June 10, 2011

Operation Lifesaver unveils Rail Safety Challenge in conjunction
with Level Crossing Awareness Day

HOUSTON -Statistics show that approximately one out of four railroad crossing crashes involve vehicles that require a Commercial Driver License (CDL) to operate. In Texas, 30 percent of crashes involve CDL vehicles.

To address this issue, Operation Lifesaver, Inc. (OLI, unveiled its Rail Safety for Professional Drivers e-Learning program here with the support of the Houston City Council, the Houston Police Department, and the Houston Council of Safety Professionals. The Rail Safety Challenge e-Learning program is an interactive experience that puts drivers behind the wheel of a truck for a 'virtual' road trip.

The event takes place on International Level Crossing Awareness Day (ILCAD), which was started in 2010 to stress the importance of safety around highway-rail grade crossings. This year, 39 countries worldwide are holding events in observance of ILCAD. Learn more at    

"Total highway-rail vehicle incidents and crashes involving CDL vehicles in Texas increased in 2010 from 2009," said Texas Operation Lifesaver State Coordinator Sally Tingle. "As the leader in highway-rail grade crossing safety education, Operation Lifesaver is pleased to offer trucking companies, independent drivers and other organizations the opportunity to use this state of the art safety program designed specifically for professional drivers," Tingle said. 

Houston City Council Member Sue Lovell and Tom Hartman, Director of Safety, Southwestern Motor Transport and member of the Houston Council of Safety Professionals spoke at the event to launch the Rail Safety Challenge. 

Council Member Lovell said, "Level Crossing Awareness Day is a great opportunity to remind drivers to exercise caution and protect themselves and their passengers.  We want everyone to be safe at rail crossings."

Hartman said, "As safety professionals, every truck driver's goal is to reach their destination without an incident. This new program helps professional drivers remember that when you stop your truck on a railroad crossing, you stand to lose more than your load."

A preview of the Rail Safety for Professional Drivers e-Learning program is available at  The e-Learning program was made possible by a grant from the Federal Railroad Administration.

 "Our goal as we launch this new safety program is to ensure that every CDL driver has the information they need to safely cross a highway-rail grade crossing, every single time," concluded Tingle.

About the e-Learning program
Individual drivers can go online to take the Rail Safety Challenge at (Under Quick Links in the top left corner, click on "Pro Driver e-Learning.")  There is no charge for individual professional drivers. Large companies who wish to incorporate this program into their training should contact Operation Lifesaver at 1-800-537-6224.

About Operation Lifesaver
Operation Lifesaver is a national, non-profit safety education group whose goal is to eliminate deaths and injuries at railroad crossings and along railroad rights of way. It has programs in all 50 states with trained presenters who provide free safety talks to raise awareness around tracks and trains. Learn more at or

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