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 alert the public to the proper behavior around trains.
The latest accident in the Top of Utah involving a UTA train occurred Monday, when a women was flown to McKay-Dee Hospital 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 two separate incidents, two pedestrians were killed after being hit on the FrontRunner track in Sunset and Clinton.
Both incidents were believed to be suicides.
In August of 2010, a 52-year-old Sunset area man was struck and killed by a FrontRunner train when he attempted to drive around the crossing gates that officials say were in the down position.
Although officials have said that 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."
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 proper 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, and public service announcements through social media.
Allegra said the campaign is part of a three-pronged approach at UTA to cut down on accidents.
"We're focusing our efforts on education, enforcement and engineering," he said.
Allegra said UTA will be more visible in communities near trains, work closer 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.
"Safety is our number one priority," he said. "And nothing else comes close."