Railroad Safety (Operation Lifesaver)

The Vernon Hills Police Department takes an active role in the education and railgate.gifenforcement of train-related safety issues. In addition to the enforcement of railroad crossing traffic violations, the department also conducts periodic and random enforcement of individuals who trespass onto railroad property. The primary purpose behind the department's education and enforcement efforts is to save lives and prevent injuries.

The department uses educational material from the Illinois Operation Lifesaver program. Here's a brief summary of the safety points that are taught to youths:
  • Railroad tracks are NOT places to walk, play or ride bikes. In addition to being illegal (trespassing on someone elses property), it is extremely dangerous. The rails, rocks, and wood can cause serious injury. It's possible to get stuck on the tracks. Walking across or down the tracks, either as a shortcut or because it is faster, is dangerous and against the law!
  • Trains cannot stop as fast as cars can. Take a good look at the chart on stopping.gifthe right. A freight train traveling at just 30 miles per hour will travel more than ½ mile before it can stop. Just because the engineer on the train sees you, it does not mean the train will stop before it gets to you.
  • Trains coming towards you are an optical illusion. While it may look as though it is stopped or going slow, the train is closer than you think and is probably going fast enough so that it cannot stop quickly.
  • Don't get too close to a train that is passing by and do not throw things at a train. It is also dangerous and illegal.
  • Do not place things on the railroad racks. It is unsafe and can cause an accident. Once again, doing so is trespassing.
Rail SignMore information can be obtained by contacting the Crime Prevention Unit at 847-247-4889.

Safety information for drivers can also be obtained on the Illinois Operation Lifesaver website.