Railroad Trespassing is a National Issue
Trespassing on railroad property is the leading cause of all rail-related deaths in the United States. In fact, more fatalities and injuries occur from trespassing on railroad property than from motor vehicle collisions with trains at highway-rail grade crossings. Between 2012 and 2017 alone, total annual trespass-related pedestrian fatalities increased by a staggering 18% nationwide, from 725 deaths in 2012 to 855 in 2017. Experts also found that trespass accidents between 2012 and 2016 cost society approximately $43 billion, in the form of passenger and goods movements delays.
As a result, in 2017, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations requested the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) study and identify the causal factors that lead to trespassing incidents and develop a National Strategy to Prevent Trespassing on Railroad Property.
Unfortunately, San Diego County was identified as one of the top ten locations for railroad trespasser casualties from November 2013 to October 2017 per the results of the Federal Railroad Administration’s analysis.
NCTD is currently working closely with public agencies, elected officials, and the community to consider and implement strategies outlined in the report as a key to reduce the risk and occurrence of trespasser incidents along its rail lines.