"See Tracks, Think Train" - FOX 32 News Chicago

"See Tracks, Think Train"

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ATLANTA, Ga. -

The number of people or vehicles being struck by trains is increasing. Earlier this week a man was seriously hurt in Dalton, when his car was hit by an oncoming train.

More and more people are being hit in vehicles at rail crossings, or while trespassing and walking along those railroad tracks.

In Georgia, more than 100 people were injured or killed last year by trains. Now Operation Lifesaver is hoping to bring awareness to this deadly issue with "See Tracks, Think Train."

Despite horns, flashing crossing signals, and no trespassing signs, pedestrian and vehicle collisions with trains are increasing and prompting new commercials.

"Unfortunately, Georgia is one of our top states in both of these areas, and in particular with the rail crossings," says Joyce Rose, the Director of Operation Lifesaver. "We want to do whatever we can to reverse that trend."

Just this week, a driver was seriously injured in Dalton when his SUV was hit by an oncoming train and pushed down the tracks.

"It takes a mile for a train to stop, so if you're trying to beat the train going across that rail crossing, you are literally taking your life in your hands," adds Rose.

Distractions, like smart phones and iPods, are also being blamed for part of the increase. "Pay more attention to what's going on around you. We know distraction can be deadly," states Rose.

24 year old Mark Kalina had to learn how to walk with the help of prosthetics after taking a short cut home one night on train tracks in Ohio. "I was walking along a stopped train that was along the tracks when my sleeve got snagged on a rail car. The train started moving and pulling me down the tracks," recalls Mark.

Mark had to call 911 himself and his legs had to be amputated.

"It's illegal to be on the tracks for a reason, they're dangerous. I only had one experience taking rail road tracks as a short cut and it forever changed my life so hopefully people can hear my story, learn from my mistake so they don't make the same one," says Mark.

Operation Lifesaver is made up of 2,000 volunteers across the country. They speak with schools, new drivers, and local law enforcement to try and get this message out. They want you to remember, "See Tracks, Think Train."

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