Ohio.gov State Agencies  |  Online Services
Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Navigate Up
Sign In


Table of Contents:        

    What is "Operation Lifesaver"?
    Why is "Operation Lifesaver" needed?
    Where can you get "Operation Lifesaver" information?
    Arranging for a presentation

    "Operation Lifesaver" programs in other States
    History of "Operation Lifesaver"





Ohio OPERATION LIFESAVER (OHOL) is a free public service education program dedicated to preventing and reducing fatalities and injuries at highway-rail grade crossings and along railroad rights-of-way. We educate the public on highway-rail grade crossing safety and provide vital information about the dangers encountered when people trespass on railroad property. We also get involved with engineering projects to improve public safety, and we work with the law enforcement community in an effort to reduce grade crossing and trespass incidents. OHOL is part of a national program known as "OPERATION LIFESAVER, INC." (OLI). Both OHOL and OLI are non-profit organizations.






Hundreds of people are killed and thousands are seriously injured each year in the United States at highway-rail crossings and at other locations along railroad tracks. Many people are unaware that trains cannot stop quickly to avoid collisions. Others take chances by ignoring warning signs and signals, going around lowered gates, stopping on tracks, or simply not paying attention when approaching highway-rail crossings. Many people make the fatal mistake of choosing railroad tracks as shortcuts or as places to walk or run for recreation. They simply don't realize how quickly a train can be there until it's too late and there's no escape. Unfortunately, on the average of every 90 minutes somewhere in the United States, there is an incident at a crossing or along a railroad right-of-way. Operation Lifesaver programs educate the public by providing vital information so these tragedies can be reduced and prevented.





Free safety presentations which include a talk with colorful visuals and informative videos are given to any group, business or organization ( schools, youth groups, truck and bus companies, civic clubs, utility companies, corporations, etc.). You will learn many surprising and important facts about trains and what they can and cannot do. Our certified presenters tailor their presentations to meet your schedule and needs. Presentations vary in length from 30 to 60 minutes depending upon a group's time limitations. Presentations are also tailored to specific types of groups and age levels. For example, we have special programs and videos for school bus drivers, professional truck drivers, teens, children and others. A variety of videos ranging from cartoons to deadly crashes are used to help convey the Operation Lifesaver message.





In Ohio If you have access to the internet you can e-mail your request to: oplifeohio@gmail.com
The State Coordinator for Ohio Operation Lifesaver is Steve Friday. He can be contacted at (614)752-4563




Operation Lifesaver is a non-profit nationwide program and is supported by national and state organizations, and many of the nation's railroads. If you are located outside Ohio and wish to receive information on your state's Operation Lifesaver program, please contact:


Operation Lifesaver
Operation Lifesaver, Inc.
1420 King Street, Suite 401
Alexandria, Virginia 22314

Operation Lifesaver, Inc. will also provide you with the name and phone number of the State Coordinator in your area.



In 1972, a concerned Union Pacific Railroad employee, working with the support of many Idaho communities, established a state-wide public education program in an effort to reduce the number of crashes, injuries and fatalities occurring at highway-rail grade crossings. At the end of the first year, the fatality rate in Idaho dropped by 39 percent. In 1973, the same education program was started in Nebraska. After a one-year period, Nebraska demonstrated even more impressive results----a 46 percent reduction in highway-rail grade crossing fatalities. In recent years, increased emphasis has been placed on reducing and preventing the injuries and fatalities caused by people trespassing on railroad property.

Operation Lifesaver is now active in the 49 continental United States and in parts of Canada. Since its inception in 1972, this public education program has dramatically reduced injuries and fatalities. A cooperative effort involving education, engineering and enforcement are the three factors that continue to make this program successful. Education is provided by the volunteers involved in Operation Lifesaver. Engineering is provided by the professionals who are responsible for improving and maintaining the crossings. Enforcement is provided by your local and state law enforcement officials and railroad police officers who actively enforce the laws at crossings and along the railroad right-of-ways.



Questions or comments, please e-mail Steve Friday