How safe are you on the tracks?
Sun, 01 May 2011 15:40:06 GMT —
Friday, the railroad industry wrapped up a week of safety promotion with throw-back train rides and lectures on railroad crossings.
Union Pacific and the Missouri Department of Transportation have beaten the drum in an effort to get people to pay attention at crossings.
Friday, the Highway Patrol joined the campaign.
"Over 700 trains per day cross our state. And with over 4,000 miles of track and 6,800 public and private crossings, rail safety in Missouri is a very important issue," Missouri State Highway Patrol Superintendent Col. Ron Replogle said.
Railroad officials are frustrated by the continuing willingness of some motorists to ignore crossing gates and warning signals.
"People don't treat a railroad crossing like an intersection, Union Pacific Police Force member Jay Holman said. You would find very few if any people that would barrel through an intersection of two roadways because they're afraid they might get hit by another car at 55 or 60 miles an hour. But they don't think about that same thing at a railroad crossing, and I just think it's because they don't see trains as frequently as they do other vehicles. That's what people are used to. It's what they judge their own speed and their own driving conditions by."
At the very least, safety officials want motorists to be aware of the blue signs posted at every railroad crossing in the state.
The signs show a toll-free number to call in case of a stalled vehicle or other emergency.
Officials said you should call that number before you call 911.