'Operation Lifesaver' aims to draw attention to railroad safety - CBS46 News

'Operation Lifesaver' aims to draw attention to railroad safety

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DULUTH, GA (CBS46) -

With Georgia ranking near the bottom nationwide in safety statistics on rail lines and at railroad crossings, officials from Norfolk Southern sponsored "Operation Lifesaver," a train ride across Georgia and the southeast aimed at raising awareness of the dangers of rail lines and railroad crossings.

"When you got a train that's 8,000, 9,000 feet long, and 7,000 tons, running 60 miles an hour, you can't stop it," said train conductor Antonio Keye.

He conducted the "Operation Lifesaver" train out of Duluth, GA, to Greenville, SC, carrying several state officials and guests.  They rode with a unique perspective: a high definition camera view from the front of the train, to see what the conductor sees.

The view is designed to help people see the inherent dangers at each railroad crossing, and perhaps even to see the people who so often walk on the tracks.

"That's a whole different ball game there," said Keye. "That's constant, people walking on the tracks."

In 2012, Georgia ranked fifth in the nation for accidents involving trains and cars.  Nationwide, Norfolk Southern said train versus car injuries were up by 10 percent in 2012 over the previous year.

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