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Letters to the editor, Sept. 24, 2021

Letters to the editor, Sept. 24, 2021

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Letters to the editor, Sept. 24, 2021

Sad statistics

A sad statistic: a person or vehicle is struck by a train every three hours in the United States. 95% of all rail-related deaths involve drivers going through a crossing or a person on the tracks.

When these tragedies occur, lives are changed forever—for the people involved in the crash, their family, friends and community, and the train crew members. Across the nation last year there were over 1,900 collisions and 198 fatalities.

This week marks U.S. Rail Safety Week, a national event to raise awareness about safety near railroad tracks. It’s led by Operation Lifesaver (OLI) in partnership with railroads, the USDOT, law enforcement and safety organizations.

The good news is that public education is powerful, especially when combined with efforts to improve grade crossing safety. Collisions are down 84% since 1972 when OLI began its work. Freight railroads also collaborate with local authorities across South Dakota to improve grade crossings, and advocate at the federal level for dedicated funding through the Section 130 program to eliminate hazards at crossings.

Always remember, never try and beat a train, always expect a train, obey all warning signs, and trains cannot stop quickly.

Brett Sebastian

South Dakota State Director, GoRail

Continual failure

After 20 years of failing US cattle ranchers on “Country of Origin Labeling”, Senator John Thune publishes yet another letter in the Rapid City Journal touting how hard he is working for the ranchers but in the same breath punts to the WTO giving him an excuse for doing nothing except writing another letter.

How many more decades are we going to put up with his continual failure on this and other important matters?

George Kruse, Rapid City

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