The Federal Railroad Administration says Kansas has averaged 16 train fatalities per year in the last 20 years. Last year, 19 people died in train-related fatalities. Across the country, train fatalities dropped from 1,170 in 1992 to 644 last year.
Darlene Osterhaus, director of the train-safety organization Kansas Operation Lifesaver, has helped coordinate hundreds of workshops across the state to increase awareness of the dangers of trains. She says she can’t pinpoint why Kansas train fatalities have not dropped.
She told The Lawrence Journal-World that adding lights and gates at railroad intersections might help but even those efforts won’t prevent all fatalities.