Operation Lifesaver is a nationwide non-profit public education program dedicated to ending collisions, fatalities and injuries at all highway-rail grade crossings, railroad property and railroad rights-of-ways. Operation Lifesaver seeks to accomplish this through the promotion of the "3 E's": Education, Enforcement and Engineering.
The Operation Lifesaver Program started in the State of Idaho in 1972 after the average yearly highway-rail grade crossing fatalities escalated to 1,200. A six-week public awareness campaign called "Operation Lifesaver" was first initiated through the combined efforts of the Union Pacific Railroad, the Idaho Peace Officers and the Governor's Office. During the year that this campaign was held, Idaho's crossing-related fatalities dropped by 43%.
The next year, the concept spread to Nebraska, where the reduction in collisions was 26%. When Kansas and Georgia experienced similar success the following year, U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson, who was Vice-Chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, encouraged the Nation's transportation community to take the program nationwide. Today Operation Lifesaver is in 49 of the continental United States and the District of Columbia. Also Operation Lifesaver is now an international program with Operation Lifesaver in Canada, UK, Estonia, Mexico and Argentina.