Springfield, MO.- (6/15/17)
Once every three hours a person or vehicle is hit by a train. This year in Missouri there were 13 incidents at railroad crossings, 2 fatalities, and 9 injures. Missouri ranks in the top 10 states nationwide for the amount of railroad operations, with more than 4,000 miles of tracks, and 4,000 railroad crossings which means you need be alert while out on the roadways.
Tim Hull, Executive Director of Missouri Operation Life Saver says, “When drivers are approaching a railroad crossing, they have to remember that any time is train time, trains start out running on a schedule, and basically they don’t run on a schedule, they run 24 hours 7 days a week, even on holidays”
For decades, the leading killer of railroads involved cars at crossings, but after flashing lights were installed in many locations, those numbers decreased dramatically, trespassing deaths while infrequent happen more often than you’d think.
“Trains aren’t as loud as they used to be, the conductor and the engineer are not looking to see people out there in those locations that are not crossings” Hull continued.
But there are still many railroad crossings that don’t have safety bars like the crossing near Goodman in McDonald county, which yesterday morning, took the life of a 5 year old child, and seriously injured two others after they failed to yield to an oncoming train.
Hull added, “The crossbuck sign, that sign is the equivalent to a yield sign, indicating that the train has a right of way at that crossing”.
That’s why an organization called operation life saver is educating the public in rail safety. From reading railroad signs, to safe driving and pedestrian tips. There is really only one rule you need to follow while around the tracks. Know your rail signs, know your signals, and most importantly, stay alert.