TriMet releases close-call videos as part of WES safety campaign

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Summer safety campaign kicks off July 11

As part of its summer safety campaign, TriMet today released close call videos of pedestrians and bicyclists trespassing and crossing tracks in front of approaching WES Commuter Rail trains. TriMet, Transit Police Division and the Portland and Western Railroad are conducting enforcement and awareness missions to remind people to be aware of approaching trains, obey warning devices and stay safe near the tracks.

(View the WES close call videos below or at trimet.org/wes)

WES provides rush hour service between Beaverton and Wilsonville on weekdays. The trains run on heavy rail tracks, which are an illegal and dangerous place for people to walk, ride bikes or play. It takes a train traveling at 55 mph about a half mile to come to a stop. Even at reduced speeds coming into and out of stations, the 80-ton WES trains cannot stop quickly.

Targeted areas

TriMet Transit Police Division officers will be patrolling the areas around the WES alignment during service hours in the coming weeks. Officers are targeting locations in Tualatin where youth have been gathering in wooded areas near the tracks, in Beaverton where riders have illegally crossed the tracks instead of using a nearby crosswalk and at the Tualatin station. Since, trespassing on railroad tracks is illegal, officers will issue citations for this and other violations.

The safety campaign also includes TriMet safety ads running all summer in local theaters and before movies in the park in Beaverton and Tualatin. Fliers with safety information will also be sent out in back-to-school mailings.

Last year in the United States, 420 people were killed in railroad trespassing incidents and 349 more were injured.

Safety tips

  • Don’t trespass on private property including railroad tracks.
  • Do not walk, bike or play on the tracks or on railroad bridges.
  • Don’t cross the tracks at unregulated crossings or in front of an approaching train.
  • Don’t speed through intersections as crossing gates are coming down.
  • Always obey railroad signage and warning devices

Citations and fines

It is illegal to trespass on railroad tracks. Criminal trespassing can be a Class A misdemeanor with a fine up to $6,250 and up to a year in prison.

Traffic-related offenses around railroad tracks include:

  • Unlawful interference with a traffic control device or railroad sign, $427 fine
  • Failure to stop for a railroad signal, $242 fine
  • Obstructing a rail crossing, $242 fine
  • Pedestrian failure to obey a bridge or railroad signal, $97 fine

About WES

The 14.7-mile WES line operates weekday rush hour service connecting Beaverton, Tigard, Tualatin and Wilsonville in a 27-minute commute. WES travels an average 37 mph with a maximum of 60 mph. Since beginning service in February 2009, ridership has increased nearly 40 percent and WES has provided more than one million rides.