September 22, 2020  |  02:30 pm

The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office is proud to be joining forces with first responder agencies in the U.S. and Canada today for “Operation Clear Track” — the single largest rail-safety initiative in North America.

Coordinated by Amtrak, Operation Lifesaver Inc. and Operation Lifesaver Canada, Operation Clear Track aims to reduce the number of railway crossing and trespassing incidents in the U.S. and Canada — incidents which seriously injure or kill more than 2,100 people each year. The event is held during the annual observance of Rail Safety Week, September 21-27.

“This week we will be focusing on educating our citizens about rail safety,” Sheriff Randy Smith said. “Please share the information you learn with your family and friends, who might not be on our social media pages.”

“The goal of Operation Clear Track and Rail Safety Week is to raise awareness of the importance of safe behavior near tracks and trains, in support of OLI’s mission to save lives,” said Operation Lifesaver, Inc. Executive Director Rachel Maleh.

Because of the ongoing pandemic, first responder agencies are participating in a virtual Operation Clear Track event this year. Agencies across North America are promoting rail safety through social media messages, by sharing Operation Lifesaver’s #STOPTrackTragedies public service announcements and other videos, and by posting other rail safety information to their department websites. Participants will also be emphasizing the importance of obeying rail crossing and trespassing laws throughout Rail Safety Week.

For more information about Rail Safety Week, Operation Clear Track, and other rail-safety initiatives and tips, please visit www.oli.org.