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About IL OL

Illinois Operation Lifesaver ( IL OL) is a non-profit public safety education and awareness organization dedicated to reducing collisions, injuries, and fatalities at highway-rail crossings along Illinois nearly 7400 miles of active rail lines. OL promotes rail safety through public awareness campaigns and education initiatives, including free safety presentations by authorized volunteers. We speak to school groups, driver education classes, community audiences, professional drivers, law enforcement officers, emergency responders, and others. Our program is co-sponsored by state and local government agencies, highway safety organizations, America's railroads, and other entities. Together we promote the three E's - education, enforcement and engineering - to keep people safe around the tracks and railway crossings within our communities. IL OL is part of a national nonprofit program known as Operation Lifesaver, Inc. (OLI).

IL OL Events

September 23-29th, 2024
See Tracks? Think Train! Week

IL OL Safety Partners

Current and retired officials representing:
Illinois railroads, private industry, Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police (Law Enforcement Agencies Statewide) Illinois Commerce Commission,Illinois Department of Transportation and the Federal Railroad Administration. These volunteers meet monthly to coordinate and carry out related presentations and projects statewide. Activities are funded primarily by the state’s rail carriers.

IL OL Statistics

To view the most current statistics, please visit the Federal Railroad Administration/ FRA page.

*Preliminary Statistics

Why is OL Needed?

Sadly, every year people in Illinois are killed or injured at highway-rail crossings and at other locations along railroad tracks.

Many people are unaware that trains cannot stop quickly to avoid collisions; or, they take chances by ignoring warning signs and signals, going around lowered gates, stopping on tracks, or simply not paying attention when approaching highway-rail crossings. People also make the potentially fatal mistake of choosing railroad tracks as shortcuts or as places to walk or run for recreation. They may not realize that walking on train tracks is illegal, or understand how quickly and quietly a train can approach. Our safety tips can save your life – or the life of someone you love.


Illinois Operation Lifesaver is an important part of an international non-profit educational organization dedicated to safety at railroad crossings and along railroad right of way. We invite you to learn more by clicking the brief video about Operation Lifesaver and welcome new volunteers with an interest in making our communities safer. Please watch the video "The Difference Starts with You" see how you can help.

Help is always needed to get the OL safety message out to new and different audiences. It is our goal to have presenters in every community who can speak to driver education classes, truck drivers, school programs, etc.

Become an Operation Lifesaver Authorized Volunteer!
OLAV Application

Request a Presentation

Do you have a group that would benefit from a free presentation on highway-rail grade crossing safety and rail trespass prevention? No problem. Operation Lifesaver's network of authorized volunteers offer free rail safety programs in school classrooms, to driver ed students, community service and civic groups, professional bus, truck and emergency first responder drivers and others.

Our trained volunteers are located throughout the country. Request a presentation with the form below:
Request a Presentation


Take the Adults Rail Safety Pledge

Take the Kids Rail Safety Pledge

Key Safety Tips

What if your car stalls or gets stuck on the tracks?

  1. Get out of your car.
  2. Get away from the tracks, even if you do not see a train.
  3. Locate the Blue and White emergency notification sign.Call the number provided for help.
  4. If a train is approaching, run toward the train but away from the tracks at a 45degree angle. *If you run in the same direction a train is traveling, you could be injured by flying debris.

    ENS Sign

    Emergency Notification Systems (ENS) at Highway-Rail Grade Crossing: The ENS sign gives the public critical emergency contact information at every highway-rail grade crossing. The information on the ENS sign enables the public to reach the railroad responsible for the crossing and to identify the specific crossing in the event of an emergency. "Find the Blue and White ENS Sign"


    Remember, railroad rights-or-way and tracks are private property and should only be crossed at authorized crossings. You may see signs similar to this one reminding you to stay off of the tracks. Even if there are no signs present, you should stay off the tracks and right-of-way and cross only at approved crossings.


Aisha Jackson State Coordinator

773-762-9535 (mobile)

President: Eric Graf
Vice President: Gordon Bowe
Treasurer: Dave Phillips
Secretary: Joel Kirchner