Hunt First for a Safe Spot, Union Pacific Advises
Omaha, Neb., October 22, 2008 Each year after harvest, wildlife tends to migrate and feed along the edges of fields making these areas prime hunting spots. With many fields adjacent to Union Pacific Railroad tracks, hunters find it very tempting to hunt on or near the tracks. Union Pacific urges hunters to resist that temptation, and for their safety, avoid railroad property this hunting season.
"As hunters head outdoors this year, we want to remind them that walking on or near railroad tracks is extremely dangerous because you never know when a train will come along," said Dennis Jenson, assistant vice president-chief of police.
"It can take a mile or more to stop a train and by the time a locomotive engineer sees you on the track, it would be too late," said Dale Bray, director – public safety.
"Locomotives and rail cars overhang the tracks by at least three feet on either side of the rail and loose straps hanging from rail cars may extend even further. If you are next to the tracks, you can be hit by the locomotive, a rail car or anything that may be hanging loose from the car," added Bray.
Hunters are not the only ones drawn to railroad tracks – hikers, bikers and snowmobilers are as well.
Through August of this year, nearly 35,000 people have been caught trespassing on Union Pacific Railroad property. Trespassers on railroad property can be arrested for violating trespassing laws. If they are caught, they could serve jail time and/or have to pay a fine. Anyone choosing to walk on or near railroad tracks could face more dire consequences. Last year, 486 people died and 393 were injured while trespassing on the property of railroads throughout the United States.
In an effort to educate the public about pedestrian and grade crossing safety, Union Pacific works closely with Operation Lifesaver. Operation Lifesaver is a national, nonprofit education and awareness program dedicated to ending tragic collisions, fatalities and injuries at highway-rail grade crossings and on railroad tracks. To accomplish its mission, Operation Lifesaver promotes education, enforcement and engineering. More information about Operation Lifesaver can be found at www.oli.org.
Do not become a railroad statistic; stay away from railroad tracks.
About Union Pacific
Union Pacific Corporation owns one of America's leading transportation companies. Its principal operating company, Union Pacific Railroad, links 23 states in the western two-thirds of the country and serves the fastest-growing U.S. population centers. Union Pacific's diversified business mix includes Agricultural Products, Automotive, Chemicals, Energy, Industrial Products and Intermodal. The railroad offers competitive long-haul routes from all major West Coast and Gulf Coast ports to eastern gateways. Union Pacific connects with Canada's rail systems and is the only railroad serving all six major gateways to Mexico, making it North America's premier rail franchise.
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