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Rick Shapiro
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Railroad Safety: Are Railroads Doing Enough at Crossings and Heavy Pedestrian Areas?

2 comments

imagesIn the movie, Stand By Me, there is a famous scene where four boys try a short cut and walk out on a railroad track over a ravine.  This proves to be a mistake as the oncoming train almost runs them down.  Sadly this fictional depiction of kids taking shortcuts on railroad tracks happens in reality all too often and many times the kids aren’t so lucky.  Recently in California a teen couple was walking down railroad tracks on the way to a school dance when they were struck by a train.  The boy died from his injuries but the girl lived despite serious injury.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch pedestrian train accidents increased dramatically in 2013, Through Aug. 31, there had been 352 pedestrian deaths compared with 281 during the same period in 2012, a 25 percent rise. Even worse the fatality rate for pedestrians train accidents was the highest in a decade.

What can be done to prevent these deaths?  Aside from convincing all children and teens of the dangers of railroad tracks there is not much anyone can do, unless you are the railroad company.  You see, railroad tracks are private property, which means victims are trespassing at their own risk. Yet railroad companies take few if any measures to mitigate the risks, such as building fences to block trespassers in some high-traffic areas.

As a Virginia (VA) railroad accident injury attorney it is not surprising that railroad companies don’t want to be pro-active about safety.  Many railroad crossings are not safely maintained and the improper care of vegetation produces high foliage that can block a car driver’s view when approaching the rail crossing.  Also, many private crossings and public ones too do not have sufficient signs and warnings.  This all leads to devastating car and truck accidents at railroad crossings.

For more information on railroad crossing injuries, click on the links below.

–       Four Common Causes of Car-Train Accidents at Railroad Crossings

–       Railroad Crossing, Train Accidents Take More Lives in 2010

CT

2 Comments

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  1. mark a. traverso says:
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    I know that as a 64 year old we were taught to stay off the tracks as kids. We lived 2 blocks away for SP and when you heard a cab forward coming and the lights flashing you did not want to be there on the tracks. It takes one mile to stop a train! People in cars i have see go around the crossing gate so they do not have to wait for the trains, this is bad thing to do. People in cars are use to going where and when they want, watching movies with train actions tends to makes us think we can beat the train and it will be OK If we do not teach our children how will they know trains are dangers if you are not alert. If you are not alert in the military you can end up dead also. Alert, Alert around you will save your life, If you think your the only person in the world, go luck.

  2. rob says:
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    Let’s see
    1. Railroad pays their execs millions a year which we repay at the check out lanes.
    2. Train brakes suck and trains have no steering and the trains go well past the sight stopping distance of the train.
    3. This is 2013 with a dozen ways to have video monitoring ahead of the trains to get the trains stopped IN TIME when tracks are obstructed.
    4. We are paying millions for state government and Federal government people and should have no businesses like railroads creating public safety hazards
    .5. Brings us back to doe—3. This is 2013 with a dozen ways to have video monitoring ahead of the trains to get the trains stopped IN TIME when tracks are obstructed.
    Railroads motto should be —ANY TIME COULD BE TANKER TRUCK STUCK ON TRACKS TIME instead it’s PROFITS FIRST AND SCREW ‘em all–Let’s make $$$.