LAS VEGAS - Union Pacific Railroad is holding a forum in Las Vegas this week to educate people about train safety.
A massive, heavy train cannot stop on a dime. While a train may appear to be at a safe distance, it can quickly catch up to you. That is why Union Pacific Railroad wants to remind people of safety procedures that can prevent accidents.
Nevada has more than 1,100 miles of train track, which increases the likelihood of potential train-related accidents in our state.
Trains transported nearly 70,000 car loads through the state in 2011. The main product these trains carry is coal.
According to the Federal Railroad Administration, 12 pedestrians have died in train-related accidents in Nevada since 2008. During that same period, there have been 14 train accidents involving vehicles on railroad crossings.
Union Pacific spokesperson Aaron Hunt says even though railroad accidents have decreased 37 percent since 2001, people need to remain careful.
"Even one fatality is one too many. We've seen our safety numbers improving. The number of pedestrian-trespasser fatalities on railroad tracks has been dropping, but it's something we have to continue to be vigilant for," he said.
Wednesday's safety operation includes 18 Union Pacific Railroad officers on site to educate the community about the need for railroad safety in Clark County.
The goal is to remind motorists and pedestrians to pay attention to railroad crossing signals and never attempt to go around them.