They just want to keep you alive - stay off the tracks

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Saltwater Park
Photo by Steven H. Robinson
Trespassing on railroad tracks is a common and extremely dangerous practice, especially during summer in beach areas adjacent to train tracks.

According to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), 994 pedestrian rail trespass casualties (fatalities + injuries) occurred in 2016. About every 3 hours a person or vehicle is struck by a train in the U.S.

Since 2012 there have been 82 fatalities on railroad tracks in Washington State with another 21 in that time frame that were ruled a suicide, for a total of 103.

Trespassing on train tracks is also a crime classified as Criminal Trespass 2nd Degree, which is a misdemeanor in Washington State and is punishable with up to 90 days in jail and up to a $1,000 fine.

A campaign kicked off this weekend to make people aware of the risks of walking on or crossing railroad tracks.

The campaign is a partnership between police with BNSF Railway, Amtrak and Sound Transit (King County Sheriff’s Office).

On Saturday, July 15, officers patrolled from 3 – 7pm near tracks from Golden Gardens to Richmond Beach looking for trespassers.

People found on the tracks received a warning. This is the first of four total outreach days this summer that will happen on beaches from Tacoma to Everett.


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