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Railroad crossing safety campaign launched

Public safety awareness campaign urges drivers to take greater care

Posted April 23, 2019

A safety awareness campaign launched by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Railroad Administration emphasizes the need for increased safety at highway-rail grade crossings.

“Stop. Trains Can’t.” is a $5.6 million campaign aimed at reducing the number of incidents at railroad crossings. The campaign follows a year in 2018 when 270 people were killed at railroad crossings in the U.S. Of those, 99 people died after the driver went around lowered crossing gate arms — a 10-year high.

The campaign runs through May 12 and will include video spots airing on digital and social media platforms, and radio advertising. “Stop. Trains Can’t.” is a national campaign with increased focus on high-incident areas in Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Texas.

Research from the organizations shows that every four hours in the U.S. a person or vehicle is struck by a train at rail crossings. In the last five years, 798 people died while trying to drive across railroad tracks.

The campaign reminds drivers of the risks of approaching trains when crossing tracks, especially when active warning devices such as flashing lights or gate arms are descending or lowered.

A train traveling at 55 mph can take more than a mile to stop even when emergency brakes are applied, according to a release from the NHTSA.

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