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Railroad safety blitz planned for Hazlehurst

JACKSON, MISS., Monday, April 14, 2008– The Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) would like to announce a railroad blitz scheduled to take place in Hazlehurst on April 16, 2008.

The Hazlehurst blitz will take place near the railroad tracks at the intersection of Frost and Georgetown Streets. Dozens of motorists in Copiah County will receive safety brochures between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. as part of the event.

According to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), Mississippi is at the top of the list for reductions in grade crossings fatalities. In 2006, there were 13 highway-rail grade crossing fatalities in Mississippi and in 2007 there were three.  The decrease in the number of fatalities is a move in the right direction and signifies that public awareness is making a difference.

The Railroad Blitzes are accomplished through a partnership between MDOT Rails Enforcement Officers and the Hazlehurst Police Department, in conjunction with Mississippi Operation Lifesaver, Inc. (MSOL). Crossing blitzes are held nine months of the year in various counties statewide to increase awareness and reduce the numbers of fatalities at locations where roadways intersected with train tracks and at railroad right of ways.

Mississippi Operation Lifesaver, Inc. (MSOL) is a non-profit organization that is working diligently to stop the needless deaths and injuries on or near highway rail grade crossings through education, enforcement and engineering. Operation Lifesaver presentations are available free of charge to local schools and organizations. Please contact MSOL at 601-359-7539.

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