Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Traffic Safety Unit Steps Up Enforcement at Railroad Crossings
On Monday September 27, 2010, the Bryan Police Department’s Traffic Safety Unit partnered with Union Pacific in “Operation Railroad Crossing”. Officer Cliff Mayton with Union Pacific Police requested the assistance of Bryan Police in addressing railroad crossing awareness and enforcement. Union Pacific had a two engine train travel down the tracks from the area of Dodge Street to East Martin Luther King Dr. which activated the crossing arms at various intersections. The operation was conducted from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm yesterday. The goal of this operation was to educate the public on railroad crossing safety. The operation was considered a success by the Traffic Safety Unit and The Union Pacific Police. The last Operation Railroad Crossing was conducted in April of 2009 and future operations are anticipated in Bryan.
A total of 56 violations were issued during this operation, 34 of which were violations that had to do with railroad crossings. Cited railroad violations are listed below:
Violation: Citations: Fine Amount:
Stop on the tracks 32 $300
Disregard crossing arms 1 $165
Commercial motor vehicle with flammable
Liquids – fail to stop at tracks 1 Set by a Judge
The Bryan Police Department would like to remind the citizens of Bryan that trains can be deadly. Please use caution and obey all warning signs. Here are many simple and life-saving practices to help you avoid a confrontation with a train at a railroad crossing.
• Never drive around lowered gates. Driving around lowered gates is illegal and deadly. If you suspect a signal is malfunctioning, call the toll free number posted on or near the crossing signal or your local law enforcement agency.
• Slow down when approaching a railroad crossing and look both ways—TWICE!
• Never race a train to cross the tracks; even if you tie, you lose.
• Watch out for a second train.
• Never pass another vehicle within 100 feet of a railroad crossing.
• Watch out for vehicles that MUST stop at railroad crossings, like school buses, city buses, or trucks carrying hazardous materials.
• When approaching a crossing, roll down your windows, turn off the radio or air conditioner, and listen for whistles or bells.
• Always yield to flashing lights, whistles, closing gates, or stop signs.
• Never shift gears on the railroad crossing, downshift before you reach it.
• If you must stop, keep a distance of 15 to 50 feet from the tracks. Since the tracks are four feet eight and a half inches wide, and the train hangs three feet past the rails on each side, be sure to leave enough space between your vehicle and the tracks.
• Teach children that the railroad is never a place to play, walk, run, bike ride, or use as a short cut. Don’t fish from railroad bridges either.
• Always cross the tracks at the designated railroad crossing or pedestrian crossing.
• Only use the crossing if you can be sure your vehicle is high enough to completely clear the railroad crossing without stopping.
• Don’t be fooled by the optical illusion presented by the train. It is always moving faster and is much closer than you think. Even if the locomotive engineer sees you, a freight train moving at 55 miles per hour can take a mile or more to stop once the emergency brakes are applied. That's 18 football fields!
Officer Jon Agnew
Public Information Officer
Bryan Police Department
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