Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission
Washington State Patrol
Washington State Department of Transportation
Union Pacific Railroad
Superintendent of Public Instruction
Federal Railroad Administration
Washington Traffic Safety Commission
Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers
United Transportation Union
What is Operation Lifesaver?
Washington Operation Lifesaver (WAOL) is a free public service education program dedicated to preventing and reducing fatalities and injuries at highway-rail grade crossings and along railroad rights-of-way. We educate the public on highway-rail grade crossing safety and provide vital information about the dangers encountered when people trespass on railroad property. We also get involved with engineering projects to improve public safety, and we work with the law enforcement community in an effort to reduce grade crossing and trespass incidents. WAOL is part of a national program known as "Operation Lifesaver, Inc." (OLI) www.oli.org. Both WAOL and OLI are non-profit organizations. To learn more about the History of Operation Lifesaver, click HERE.
Why is Operation Lifesaver Needed?
Hundreds of people are killed and thousands are seriously injured each year in the United States at highway-rail crossings and at other locations along railroad tracks. Many people are unaware that trains cannot stop quickly to avoid collisions. Others take chances by ignoring warning signs and signals, going around lowered gates, stopping on tracks, or simply not paying attention when approaching highway-rail crossings. Many people make the fatal mistake of choosing railroad tracks as shortcuts or as places to walk or run for recreation. They simply don't realize how quickly a train can be there until it's too late and there's no escape. Unfortunately, on the average of every 115 minutes somewhere in the United States, there is an incident at a crossing or along a railroad right-of-way. Operation Lifesaver programs educate the public by providing vital information so these tragedies can be reduced and prevented.
Where can you get Operation Lifesaver Information?
Washington Operation Lifesaver provides free safety presentations which include a talk with colorful visuals and informative videos are given to any group, business or organization (schools, youth groups, truck and bus companies, civic clubs, utility companies, corporations, etc.). You will learn many surprising and important facts about trains and what they can and cannot do. Our certified presenters tailor their presentations to meet your schedule and needs. Presentations vary in length from 30 to 60 minutes depending upon a group's time limitations. Presentations are also tailored to specific types of groups and age levels. For example, we have special programs and videos for school bus drivers, professional truck drivers, teens, children and others. A variety of videos ranging from cartoons to deadly crashes are used to help convey the Operation Lifesaver message.
Presentations can also be arranged in any area of the state by using one of the following methods:
- Click HERE and fill out the Presentation Request Form.
- Contact Bob Boston, State Coordinator, at (360) 664-1264.
- Send e-mail to this address: mailto:bboston
Operation Lifesaver Programs in Other States
Operation Lifesaver is a non-profit nationwide program and is supported by national and state organizations, and many of the nation's railroads. If you are located outside Washington State and wish to receive information on your state's Operation Lifesaver program, please visit the Operation Lifesaver website at http://www.oli.org. Operation Lifesaver, Inc. will provide you with the name and phone number of the State Coordinator in your area.
LINKS TO OTHER SITES SUPPORTING OPERATION LIFESAVER:
Washington State Railroad Historical Society
Washington State Dept. of Transportation (WSDOT) Rail Page
Federal Railroad Administration - federal agency involved with safety of nation's railroads
Amtrak - nationwide passenger rail service
Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway
Union Pacific Railroad
Staff contact: Bob Boston