|This article does not cite any references or sources. (April 2010)|
Operation Lifesaver is an organization originally started in Idaho in 1972 as a six-week, one-time public awareness campaign sponsored by the office of Governor Cecil Andrus, the Idaho Peace Officers and Union Pacific Railroad after years of increasing grade crossing accidents.
As a result of Operation Lifesaver, grade crossing-related fatalities dropped by forty-three percent. The next year, the Operation Lifesaver campaign spread to Nebraska, where their collision rate was reduced by twenty-six percent. Kansas and Georgia established independent versions the year after that, and between 1978 and 1986, while Operation Lifesaver operated under the auspices of the National Safety Council, all 48 continental states and Alaska started independent Operation Lifesaver programs which remain active today. In 1986, the national program was incorporated as a national, non-profit educational organization, among them being a short film called Sly Fox and Birdie.
Operation Lifesaver provides educational material free of charge to schools and civic organizations and they actively recruit and train volunteers to speak on the subject of rail safety.
In 2006, Operation Lifesaver requested that Disney edit a scene of the Pixar film Cars in which the character of Lightning McQueen races a train to a grade crossing while the crossing lights are flashing. Disney/Pixar has removed the scene in question from theater showings but the DVD release of the movie still includes the scene.
NS #5262 with Operation Lifesaver paint scheme.