Trespassing along railroad and transit rights-of-way (ROW) is the leading cause of rail-related deaths in America. Nationally, more than 550 trespass fatalities and nearly as many injuries occur each year. The vast majority of these events are preventable. In general, most trespassers are pedestrians who use railroad tracks as a shortcut.
Based on the success from the first ROW Fatality and Trespass Prevention Workshop held in 2008 , the U.S. Department of Transportation (US DOT) Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) sponsored another national workshop on August 14-16, 2012 in St. Louis, MO. The workshop consisted of a varied program presented by rail/transit experts and safety professionals who s`hared their ideas on key issues, best practices, technical developments, human behavior, law enforcement, and public education and awareness outreach methods and techniques related to trespass prevention. The workshop allowed over 185 attendees (representing Federal, State, and local governments, freight and passenger railroads, transit agencies, labor unions, academia, non-profit organizations, and consultants) to learn about and discuss advances, accomplishments, challenges, approaches for ROW fatality and trespass prevention. The result was an open exchange of ideas, an opportunity to network with peers, a showcase of the newest and best safety-related developments, and discussion of future recommended actions. The workshop concluded with the development of a list of 23 high priority recommended actions across six topic areas.