Picking up from where the first part of this blog series left off, here, we’ll continue highlighting some of the recommendations the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) has made for reducing the risk of highway-rail accidents and staying safe when crossing train tracks.
Preventing Highway-Rail Accidents: What Pedestrians Can Do
Never trespass – This means, you should only walk on designated crossings when the signals grant you the right of way. Never cross tracks that at non-designated areas, where gates surround tracks and/or where “No Trespassing” signs are specifically posted.
- Wait a bit after a train passes before proceeding – It’s not uncommon for a second train to immediately follow a first train, particularly after major junctions. So, if you are waiting to cross train tracks after a first train has already passed, give it a minute or so before proceeding, as there may be another train right behind the first one.
- Never proceed past lowered gates – When you see guard gates lowered in front of train tracks, never walk around these. While you can be cited and fined for failing to stop at these gates (and abide the signs/signals that accompany them), failure to comply can lead to life-threatening accidents in the worst cases.
- Always expect a train – Just like motorists, pedestrians crossing tracks should always expect that a train is approaching. This means that crossing tracks should be done promptly after looking both ways first.
- Don’t play on tracks – Recreational activities, such as fishing or bungee jumping, by train tracks is never a good idea. Keep the tracks clear for the trains that need them, and plan your recreational activities safely away from train tracks.
- Never try to hop on a moving train – Even if that train appears to be going slowly, never try to get on a moving train. One wrong move or slip can lead to catastrophic accidents and potentially deadly injuries.
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