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Monday starts Railroad Safety Week in Mississippi

Published: Sep. 20, 2021 at 10:29 PM CDT
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BEAUMONT, Miss. (WDAM) - “Here in Mississippi, we have around 100 accidents annually involving trains,” said Operation Lifesaver Executive Director Kim Sloan.

These numbers are most likely much higher than you may think.

“Last year alone we had 14 fatalities in our state,” Sloan said.

These statistics sparked Mississippi to take initiative and try to zero out those cases.

Throughout the Pine Belt this week, first responders, the rail commission and members of the Mississippi Department of Transportation are handing out pamphlets regarding rail safety and how to properly come up to a railroad.

Sloan says trespassers, people who walk or stay along the rails, account for a majority of the fatalities. The perception is that they will hear a train coming, but that is not always the case.

“People are just unaware that trains are not as loud as they used to be and it can take a mile or more for a train to come to a stop, even if they see something or someone on the railroad property,” said Sloan.

Beaumont, Miss., is the first stop for Operation Lifesaver.

“It feels good because it’s interacting with the public,” said Beaumont Officer Kennan Bishop. “Letting them know we are watching what’s going on, and again to let them know that we don’t want them hurt.”

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