Does public education improve rail-highway crossing safety?

Ian Savage*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Improvements in rail-highway grade crossing safety have resulted from engineering, law enforcement, and educating the public about the risks and the actions they should take. The primary form of the latter is a campaign called Operation Lifesaver which started in the 1970s. This paper uses a negative binomial regression to estimate whether variations in Operation Lifesaver activity across states and from year-to-year in individual states are related to the number of collisions and fatalities at crossings. Annual data on the experience in 46 states from 1996 to 2002 are used. The analysis finds that increasing the amount of educational activity will reduce the number of collisions with a point elasticity of -0.11, but the effect on the number of deaths cannot be concluded with statistical certainty.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)310-316
Number of pages7
JournalAccident Analysis and Prevention
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2006


  • Accident analysis
  • Operation Lifesaver
  • Public education
  • Rail-highway crossings
  • United States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Human Factors and Ergonomics


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