In North Carolina, there have been 10 deaths this year due to trains hitting pedestrians, and there have been a total of 16 train-pedestrian accidents.
In 2013, there were 21 pedestrian deaths, and 33 total accidents. North Carolina officials say that the number is high for the state, and they hope that deaths will decline later this year. They are putting out the word to make sure this happens.
The North Carolina Department of Transportation and the City of Greensboro last week did a rail safety ad campaign on Gillespie Street in Greensboro. The idea behind the event was to increase awareness about train safety. Police handed out flyers to pedestrians and drivers, and included the following tips:
- Always assume there is train coming at every rail/road intersection.
- Trains have the right of way over everything and everyone – pedestrians, bikers, fire engines, ambulances and police.
- Trains stop slowly. Even with the emergency brake on, a 100 car train going 55 MPH takes a mile to stop.
- Stop your car when the crossing gates are down and the lights are flashing, even if you do not see a train.
- Do not ever race a train to the crossing.
- Do not walk or ride your bike near train tracks.
- Never walk near train tracks with earphones in, as you cannot hear the train coming.