2012 Right of Way Fatality and Trespass Prevention Workshop
Trespassing along railroad rights-of-way is the leading cause of rail-related deaths in America. Nationally, more than 400 trespasser fatalities occur each year, and nearly as many injuries. The vast majority of these are preventable. By definition, trespassing on railroad property is illegal. Rail trespassers are most often pedestrians walking across or along railroad tracks as a shortcut. Many trespassers are engaged in recreational activities such as walking, jogging, bicycling, walking a dog, hunting, fishing, snowmobiling, or operating off-road, all-terrain vehicles. Others are loitering or engaged in other unlawful activity including theft or vandalism.
On August 14–16, 2012, the Federal Railroad Administration and the Federal Transit Administration co-sponsored the Second Right-of-Way Trespass Prevention Workshop in St. Louis, Missouri. The goal of the workshop was to identify and share existing industry leading practices and explore new strategies that the rail industry could pursue to reduce the number of right-of-way and trespasser incidents and fatalities. The conference agenda was developed by a team of leading industry experts and covered pedestrian safety issues; hazard management; design, technology, and infrastructure; enforcement; intentional deaths/acts; and community outreach. More than 190 delegates from various Federal, State, and local government offices; railroad and transit operators; industry groups; consultants; private companies; unions; law enforcement; and two international organizations attended.