Wisconsin Railroad Commissioner Jeff Plale made a stop in Marshfield on Monday to kick off “Wisconsin Rail Safety Week” and “Operation Lifesaver,” a new program designed to raise awareness about using caution at railroad crossings around the state.
The commissioner said the slogan for the new campaign is “See Tracks? Think Train!” and Marshfield’s string of train accidents is a perfect example of why “Operation Lifesaver” is necessary. “You see it all the time,” Plale said, “people taking shortcuts, walking down the tracks. You see people taking silly risks all the time with regard to trains, and it’s just not worth it.”
Commissioner Plale says an increased number of train traffic including frac sand and oil trains is also making safety even more important than in the past.
Tom Clauder is an investigator for the railroad. He said fines for crossing violations are going up as well. You’ll lose six points off your license, and it’ll cost you around $350 if you go through a railroad signal that’s flashing or around gates that are down.
The focus on railway safety will continue through the week with additional stops for the commissioner including Eau Claire, Superior, Madison and Milwaukee.