NTSB Press Release

National Transportation Safety Board
Office of Public Affairs


January 10, 2000

The National Transportation Safety Board has joined with Operation Lifesaver, Inc., the National Safety Council and other safety and industry organizations in launching a new public education initiative aimed at preventing collisions, deaths and injuries at farm-railroad grade crossings throughout North America. Representing the NTSB, Board Member George W. Black, along with Operation Lifesaver President Gerri L. Hall, Pennsylvania Transportation Secretary Bradley L. Mallory and Agriculture Secretary Sam Hayes, Jr., unveiled the new educational effort, January 8, at the Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg, PA.

Mr. Black noted that collisions between farm vehicles and trains at unsignalized, private railroad crossings in rural areas have been increasing and too often result in deaths or serious injuries and extensive property and equipment damage. He said that aggressive action is needed to deal with the problem. Mr. Black praised the work of Operation Lifesaver and expressed confidence that, with strong support from the farming and railroad communities, the incidence of these grade crossing accidents can be substantially reduced.

"Field to Field - Yield to Trains" is the primary message of the campaign, which will use brochures, decals and interactive exhibits to disseminate safety information in farming areas. Initially, the program will focus on six states - Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Iowa, Nebraska, Idaho and Montana. Federal Railroad Administration data indicate that in these six states, in the past decade, there have been over 500 farm vehicle-train collisions and at least 44 fatalities and 138 injuries.

Operation Lifesaver will maintain an informational exhibit at the Pennsylvania Farm Show, which runs until January 13. Further information can be obtained from the Operation Lifesaver web site at www.oli.org.

NTSB Office of Public Affairs: (202) 314-6100



The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent federal agency charged with determining the probable cause
of transportation accidents, promoting transportation safety, and assisting victims of transportation accidents and their families.