The DuPage Railroad Safety Council is a nonprofit organization made up of railroad professionals, government officials, law enforcement, engineers, educators and private citizens who share a deep concern for safety at highway/railroad crossings and along railways. The Council was founded on April 30, 1994, as an outgrowth of a Railroad Safety Task Force called for by the Chairman of the DuPage County Board. Since that time, the Council has met regularly to examine ways to heighten awareness and improve safety at highway/railroad crossings and to work with civic, law enforcement and railroad leaders to eliminate deaths and injuries along railroad right of ways.
What is our mission?
To prevent deaths and injuries at railroad crossings and along railways.
Through the efforts of the DRSC, the first photo enforcement pilot project at railroad crossings in Illinois was started in DuPage County. Crossing violation fines were increased to $500 or 50 hours of public service in large part due to the efforts of the DRSC. Fines were later reduced to $250 or 25 hours of public service for first time offenders.
Although vehicular grade separations are expensive, the DRSC encourages them when it is practical and appropriate. We have promoted the CREATE Project - a public/private partnership to fund changes that will improve rail service for passengers and freight while increasing safety. The project includes 25 new highway/rail separations and improvements to existing railroad grade crossings throughout the region.
Throughout its 22-year history, the DRSC has recommended the installation of four-quadrant gates. In 1994, there were no four-quad gates in Illinois. Today, there are more than 80 installations, including one at Monroe Street in Hinsdale, IL, where because Lauren Wilson was fatally injured and Jonathan Goers severely disabled, the DRSC was formed.
Vision for the future
The DRSC has made great strides in its 22- year history, but there is still much to do.
While highway/railroad grade crossing incidents are decreasing, we envision a day when there will be no collisions, fatalities, or injuries. As four-quadrant gate installations prove effective, the DRSC supports them as the standard for future active-warning devices and wants to see them installed at every highway/rail grade crossing in the Chicagoland area. North Carolina’s “Sealed Corridors” (fully protected railway passages that approach impenetrability) also work and are cost-effective. The DRSC believes their success can be replicated in more densely populated areas like northeastern Illinois.
And while vehicular incidents have decreased, trespasser and suicide incidents are on the rise. The DRSC supports the increased use of pedestrian gates, channelization, appropriate fencing, pedestrian bike underpasses/overpasses, and believes suicide prevention measures should be addressed more thoroughly. We are focused on raising public awareness of and establishing fatality reduction goals for rail-related trespassing and suicide fatalities.
The DuPage Rail Safety Council incorporated in February of 1996
Awards DRSC HAS RECEIVED
Dr. Lanny Wilson received the OL Champion Award at the Operation Lifesaver Leadership Conference in 2016
Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police 2015
Dr. Gary Burch Memorial Safety Award 2006
Federal Railroad Administration 1998
AWARDS DRSC ISSUES
Michael S. DeLarco Award (Educator) Dr. Joseph Schwieterman, 2012; Michael S. DeLarco Award (Success) Henry Humphries, 2000; Tom Zapler, 2010; Carole Messana (posthumous), 2014; Future Generations Award Chairman Robert Schillerstrom, 2000; William O. Lipinski, 2004; Joyce Stupegia, 2008; Jonathan Goers Award (Private Sector Champion) George Swimmer, 1996; Lourdes Beard & Rose Humiston, 1998; Leo A. Ditewig, 2000; Randy Pros, 2002; Bob Meyer, 2004; George Graves & Beatriz M. Olivera, 2006; Barbara and Fred Biederman, 2008; BNSF Railway Company, 2010; Jim Speta & Lyn Hartley, 2012; Kurt and Laura Topel, 2014; David Mattoon, 2016; Law Enforcement Award Metra Police Department, 1998; Metra Police Department & Clarendon Hills Police Department, 2000; Lifetime Achievement Award Senator Beverly Fawell, 2000; Don Orseno, 2016; Model Community Award The Village of Downers Grove, 1998; Naperville, Illinois, 2000; Victor Olivera Award (Educator for Railroad Safety) Don Richardson, 1998; Gordon Bowe & Suburban Life, 2000; Zeke Rodriguez, 2002; Chip Pew, 2004; David C. Franson, 2006; Dr. Barry Kaufman, 2008; Helen Sramek, 2010; Dr. Ian Savage, 2012; Joyce Rose, 2014; Christopher P.L. Barkan, PhD, 2016; Kristie Topel Award (Public Awareness --Media) The Daily Herald, 1998; The Daily Herald & Suburban Life, 2000; Ed Sirovy, 2004; Marni Pyke, 2014; Mary Wisniewski (Chicago Tribune), 2016; Lauren Elizabeth Wilson Award (Public Sector Champion) Officer James Kveton, 1996; Paul Froehlich & Deborah Hare, 1998; Rick Talerico, 2000; Jim Bedell, 2002; Carole A. Messana, 2004; Steve Laffey, 2006; Mark Wodka & William Lyons & Tom Zapler, 2008; Michael and Linda DeLarco, 2010; Paul Worley & Brian Vercruysse, 2012; Hilary Konczal & Liz Chaplin, 2014; Lou Jogmen, 2016;
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