DENVER – The Colorado Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have launched a new railroad crossing safety campaign.
“Stop. Trains Can’t” reminds drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians to look for the train and observe crossing devices. Because trains cannot stop quickly enough to avoid a crash, every one must yield to trains and proceed with caution. Rail crossing crashes are preventable and never worth the unnecessary risk.
Between 2013 and 2017, 14 people were killed and 36 were injured in vehicle-train crashes in Colorado. Driver distraction and ignoring posted signs or signals were common factors in such crashes.
Make sure to follow these tips when you are crossing a railroad:
- When approaching a railroad crossing, slow down, look, and listen for a train on the tracks, especially at “passive” crossings without gates and lights.
- Look carefully in both directions before crossing a rail track, even during the day. Sixty-seven percent of railroad crossing collisions occur in clear weather conditions.
- Do not rely on past experiences to guess when a train is coming. Trains can come from either direction at any time.
- Never race a train. It is easy to misjudge a train’s speed and distance from the crossing.
- Before entering a railroad crossing, check that there is enough room on the other side of the tracks for your vehicle to cross completely and safely. Be aware that you may need to cross multiple sets of tracks at some railroad crossings.
- Never stop on the railroad tracks. Keep moving once you have entered the crossing. To avoid stalling, never shift gears on the tracks.
- If your vehicle stalls on a railroad track, quickly move away from the track and your vehicle at a 45-degree angle. Call the number on the Emergency Notification System sign, or, if the sign is not visible to you, dial 911 for help.