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In 1972, the Idaho State Highway Patrol, then-Governor Cecil Andrus and the Union Pacific Railroad mounted campaign to promote "Stop, Look and Listen" safety at highway-rail grade crossings. The initial teams spoke to civic groups, school groups, school bus and truck drivers. Idaho experienced a 43% reduction in fatalities that first year.
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.
- "Safety Group Tied to Industry". New York Times. 14 November 2005. Retrieved 19 August 2014.
Operation Lifesaver is the nation's largest and most influential rail-safety group, but documents show that the organization is tightly bound to the railroad industry, and its critics, including many accident victims, say it inoculates railroads against liability in grade-crossing collisions
- Bogdanich, Walt; Jenny Nordberg (23 January 2005). "Highway Agency Disavows Claims by Rail Safety Group". New York Times. Retrieved 21 August 2014.
Operation Lifesaver, a nonprofit association co-founded three decades ago by Union Pacific, has denied having a pro-railroad agenda.
- "Statement of Gerri L. Hall, President, Operation Lifesaver, Inc.". Federal Document Clearing House. 29 April 1998. Retrieved 19 August 2014.