"Operation Lifesaver" Promotes Train Safety Awareness Program

Published 07/09 2014 01:27PM

Updated 07/09 2014 01:42PM

"Operation Lifesaver", a national train safety awareness program, made it's way to the Hoosier state and their slogan is "Look, Listen, Live".

Unfortunately Indiana is ranked 5th nationally for train related collisions.  WFFT's Rohma Siddiqui was on board and has more on train safety and one man's story of how a train accident changed his life forever.

The victim of a traumatic train accident, Mark Kalina knows all too well the danger associated with trains.  Kalina was out with friends one night and decided to take a shortcut across a set of tracks when he got stuck.

"Right then the train started moving, pulling me backwards into my sleeve so I had trouble getting unhooked and it kept moving faster and faster to the point where I was going to be dragged."

Miraculously, Kalina was able to dial 911 himself after the train severed his legs.

"I couldn't believe it was happening.  I thought no way, this can't be real and after I saw my legs cut off, as I was laying there alone on the tracks."

See tracks? Think train!

Robin Chapman, Director of Public Relations at Norfolk Southern says, "Operation Lifesaver is a national organization, a non-profit organization supported by the railroad who's purpose is to educate the public about railroad safety."

Chapman says anytime is train time and train tracks are private property.  You might want to think again before taking that shortcut through the train tracks.

"It may be very convenient but it is also very dangerous."

Chapman also tells WFFT that freight trains don't keep regular schedules and their arrivals are quite unpredictable.  A freight train traveling 50 mph takes at least 1 mile to stop, which is the equivalent of 18 football fields.

Executive Director of Operation Lifesaver Indiana, Jessica Feder says 75% of accidents occur due to people not paying attention.

"We are ranked 5th nationally in Indiana for collisions."

Jessica adds that Operation Lifesaver is free to attend and happens once every year. 

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