SALT LAKE CITY -- After a recent string of accidents involving its rail operation, the Utah Transit Authority is looking at ways to improve safety and inform the public of the proper behavior around FrontRunner and TRAX trains.
The latest accident in the Top of Utah involving a UTA train occurred Monday, resulting in a women being flown to McKay-Dee Hospital in Ogden with a skull fracture after her minivan was hit by a FrontRunner train at 600 West and Old Mill Lane in Kaysville.
Earlier this year, in separate incidents, two pedestrians were killed when they were hit on the FrontRunner track in Sunset and Clinton.
Both incidents were believed to be suicides.
In August 2010, a Sunset-area man, 52, was struck and killed by a FrontRunner commuter train when he attempted to drive around the crossing gates, which officials say were lowered at the time.
Although officials have said safety equipment was working properly in all four incidents, UTA says it needs to step up its measures to ensure safety.
"When an accident occurs, it's something that is very personal to us," said UTA Board Chairman Greg Hughes. "And given the recent events, we feel like we have to step up (safety measures) even more."
The new Trax lines in Salt Lake County have also had a number of accidents.
UTA General Manager Michael Allegra said the call to "step up" safety efforts begins with a new public awareness campaign called "Operation Lifesaver -- Train for Safety."
As part of the campaign, UTA will post signs on trains, inside of trains, on train platforms and at train stations, reminding users of train safety.
The brightly colored yellow, red and black signs remind train users and nearby pedestrians to take off their headphones when near trains, look twice when at train crossings, stand behind yellow safety lines and hold the hands of small children.
The safety campaign will also feature TV and radio ads, as well as announcements through social media.
Allegra said the effort is part of a three-pronged approach.
"We're focusing our efforts on education, enforcement and engineering," he said.
Allegra said UTA will be more visible in communities near trains, work more closely with law-enforcement officials and make sure all engineering aspects of the agency are geared toward safety.
"We're trying everything we can think of to make the public safe," he said.
Allegra said UTA will rearrange priorities in its current budget to fund the campaign and its increased safety efforts.