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State pushing railway crossing safety

Revised on: 06.7.2018 at 01:00 p.m.

Posted on: 06.7.2018 at 12:59 p.m.

State pushes rail crossing safety

The N.C. Department of Transportation is reminding drivers to be safe at railroad crossings as part of  International Level Crossing Awareness Day, or ILCAD 2018.

ILCAD aims to prevent collisions between vehicles and trains at railroad crossings, which are referred to outside the U.S. as level crossings.

North Carolina reported 48 of the 2,114 collisions nationwide between trains and vehicles in 2017. So far this year, there have been 21 crossing crashes in the Tar Heel State, and people were killed in five of the collisions.

Staff in NCDOT’s BeRailSafe program want motorists to remember the following lifesaving tips when approaching a railroad crossing:

  •  Always expect a train at every highway-rail intersection;
  •  Freight trains do not travel on a predictable schedule, and passenger train schedules frequently change;
  •  Trains always have the right-of-way, even when emergency and law enforcement vehicles are involved;
  •  Always stop your vehicle when crossing gates are down or lights are flashing. Never try to drive around the gate;
  •  Never stop your car on railroad tracks. When approaching an intersection at railroad tracks, keep your car safely behind the white lines; and
  •  Never race a train to a crossing.

Last week, as part of ILCAD 2018, NCDOT’s BeRailSafe, N.C. Operation Lifesaver and Aberdeen Carolina & Western Railway staged a crash in which a remote-controlled moving vehicle tried to race a train to a railroad crossing in Montgomery County. The simulation, which the NCDOT captured on video and shared online, illustrated how the collision destroyed the vehicle and impacted the “dummies” inside. This simulation was the first of its kind in the United States, and data captured from the crash will be used to improve rail and highway safety.

BeRailSafeworks with N.C. Operation Lifesaver, railroads and other safety stakeholders to educate children, teens and adults on the dangers of trespassing on railroad tracks, property and equipment.

You can see a video of the simulated crash on The News Reporter Facebook page.

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