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Operation Lifesaver: Keeping safety on track
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Manteca Officer Javier Montanez hands a safety pamphlet to a motorist at one of Mantecas crossings. No citations were issued with motorists and pedestrians being counseled on the need to stop when the red lights are flashing. - photo by Photo Contributed

The Union Pacific Railroad’s Safety Train rumbled back and forth through Manteca for three hours Tuesday morning.
The 7 to 10 a.m. effort was part of Operation Lifesaver designed to warn and educate motorists and pedestrians alike of the dangers of ignoring rail crossings when the gates are down and the red lights are flashing.  There were no citations issued, but motorists and pedestrians alike were counseled about the dangers of ignoring warning devices at railroad crossings as well as the fines they can incur if they are caught breaking the law.
“About every three hours a person or vehicle is hit by a train across the country,” a UP spokesman said.
Rail Safety Week is promoted every year from Sept. 24-30.
Two Manteca Police officers were positioned at the South Main Street crossing near Manteca’s downtown where students and others have continually been warned about trying to beat oncoming trains by crossing the tracks when crossing arms are down for an oncoming train.  It was noted that Operation Lifesaver has been working for years “to empower people” to keep themselves safe around railroad tracks.
Two other patrolmen were stationed at the Yosemite Avenue crossing south of Library Park where there have been numerous suicides by train.
The mission of Rail Safety Week is to end collisions, deaths and to inspire safety at railroad crossing and on railroad property through a nationwide network of volunteers who work to educate the public about rail safety. 
To contact Glenn Kahl, email