During my tenure as a member of the DuPage County Board I have had the opportunity to meet many outstanding people who are making a difference in our community and beyond, Dr. Lanny Wilson is one of them. I am very honored to be part of the DuPage Railroad Safety Council.  The 2016 DuPage Railroad Conference set a goal of reducing trespasser and suicide deaths by 50% in the next 10 years. On July 14th I joined Dr. Lanny Wilson and the Metra Board of Directors on the Metra 2017 Safety Train Excursion.

 ChicagoTribune Reports  the following….

Rafael GuerreroContact Reporter

On Friday, Wilson was one of dozens of officials on board a “safety train” Metra from Union Station to Elgin‘s National Street station. The Metra-led excursion gave riders a chance to observe safety measures the suburban commuter agency has adopted to reduce incidents and fatalities on railroads.

Upon arriving at Elgin, Mayor Dave Kaptain welcomed the contingent to the city, which he said has been increasing efforts to reduce railroad incidents, injuries and fatalities.

He noted Elgin’s Liquor Control Commission decision this week to disallow sales of single-serve hard liquor and of single bottles of beer downtown, which is of close proximity to a Metra station and railroads.

“We are going to reduce the amount of alcohol that’s sold near the train stations to make sure that people are safe,” Kaptain said. “We don’t always make the best judgments when we have a few drinks, things get less secure for us.”

Metra board member and Elgin native Manny Barbosa was a first-time rider of the safety train. Barbosa, a retired federal judge, said safety is of great concern to the board.

He mentioned one often-forgotten aspect of railroad deaths and incidents: suicide, which Barbosa said is on the rise.

Wilson added that suicides did see an uptick. Last year, the DuPage Railroad Safety Council presented supporting data on suicides, such as its steady growth from 2012-15. Trespassing and intentional death fatalities make up the majority of railroad-related deaths, according to the data.

Orseno said the agency is planning a more robust effort in raising awareness of suicide prevention, such as training some staff in the psychology behind suicide and suicidal thoughts.

“One of the biggest focuses now is to reduce suicides (on the railroads),” Wilson said. His safety council has listed a goal of reducing trespasser and suicide deaths by 50 percent over the next decade.

 Full story here.
You can learn about the DuPage Railroad Safety Council here
You can learn more about Metra here.