Keep aware and know the rules!
By Dan Deary, posted in Trucking Safety on August 02, 2016
Chances are, you have sat in your car at a railroad crossing once or twice during your driving years. Maybe you have even seen those cars that are actually stopped on the tracks when the flashing gate comes down. It’s important to know what to do when you are in a railroad crossing zone…better to be safe than sorry.
In 2012, there were 1, 953 train/ motor collisions, about an 83% decrease from 1972 when that number was 12,000, according to the Federal Railroad Administration.
Here are some tips that will help keep you from being a statistic.
- When you are approaching a railroad crossing, make sure you look both ways before crossing.
- Try to avoid distracting behaviors such as, listening to music on your headphones or texting; these activities might make it difficult to hear an oncoming train.
- Never try to beat the train. Even if you were the fastest in your college class, you won’t be able to outrun this train. Remember even in you tied, you lose.
- If a vehicle is stopped behind the guard, be sure that when you stop, to leave enough room between you and the car in front of you so that they have enough room to back up if they need to.
- Expect a train at any given time, as they do not run on a regular schedule.
Railroad Crossing Safety Begins With You
According to the Triple A Digest of Motor Laws Railroad Crossing, a person approaching a railroad must stop within 50 feet but no less than 15 feet. The person may not proceed if the mechanical device gives warning of the oncoming train, the sound is audible, or if the approaching train is visible. Remember, no racing! Failing to follow these regulations could result in a ticket or your license being revoked.
Following these tips will help you in being more aware and prepared next time you approach that oncoming freight train.
About the author: Dan Deary is president of All Pro Truck Body Shop, a truck body repair shop located in Phoenix Arizona , specializing in commercial body shop and fleet painting services.