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Vehicle Warnings

     According to Operation Life­saver, an average of eight collisions between trains and motorists occur every day. Over 350 people are killed each year, and about 1,000 are seriously injured. A motorist is 40 times more likely to be killed or seriously injured in a collision with a train than in a collision with another motor vehicle.

·  Look, Listen and Live is the basic rule. Obey all highway-rail crossing signs and signals.

·  Don’t rely on warning signals. They could be broken. If you sus­pect a signal is malfunctioning, or if you feel vision at the crossing is restricted, e.g., high weeds, call the police or the railroad. You may want to find another route.

·  Expect a train any time. Most trains don’t follow set schedules.

·  As you approach a railroad crossing: slow down when you see the R X R advance warning sign; open a window; turn off the radio and fan; stop talking; look both ways; and listen for a train whistle.

·  You must stop if red warning lights are flashing; warning bells are ringing; there’s a STOP sign, or the gates are lowered. It’s the law. NOTE: More than half of all train-vehicle crashes occur when a driver disregards flashing red lights or gates that warn of a coming train.

·  Never race a train to a cross­ing. Always assume you’ll lose.

·  Never stop on a crossing or shift gears. When traffic is heavy, wait until you are sure you can clear all of the tracks.

·  If you start across the tracks and the warnings activate, continue to the other side. Don’t stop or attempt to back up.

·  Watch out for a second train when crossing multiple tracks.

·  Its large mass makes it difficult to judge the speed and distance of an oncoming train. Be careful.

·  Remember, trains cannot stop quickly. It can take a mile or more to stop once the brakes are applied.

·  Be doubly alert at night and in bad weather. Don’t overdrive your lights. In many nighttime collisions, cars run into trains.

·  Many rail-car collisions occur near a driver’s home because people take a rail crossing for granted. Don’t fall into that trap. Build pos­sible delays into your schedule.

·  Keep alcohol, distractions and fatigue out of your car.

·  If your car stalls on the tracks, get everyone out immediately and get a safe distance from the tracks. Call the police. If no train is com­ing, post lookouts and try to get the car off the tracks. Be ready to get away fast. If a train approaches, run toward the train to avoid flying debris.

Personal Warnings

     In recent years, over 500 peo­ple have been killed annually while trespassing on railroad rights-of-way and property.

·  Do not walk, run, cycle or oper­ate all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) on railroad tracks and property or through tunnels. Furthermore, these activities are against the law.

·  Cross tracks only at designated pedestrian or roadway crossings. Observe all warning signs and signals.

·  Do not hunt or fish from rail­road trestles. There is only enough clear­ance on tracks for a train to pass. They are not meant to be sidewalks or pedestrian bridges.

·  Do not attempt to hop aboard railroad equipment at any time. A slip of the foot can cost you a limb.n

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