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'Stop. Trains Can’t.' Campaign Sends Strong Message to Motorists at Railroad Crossings

'Stop. Trains Can’t.' Campaign Sends Strong Message to Motorists at Railroad Crossings

About every three hours, a person or vehicle is hit by a train.

Last year, 232 people were fatally injured in rail crossing accidents.

Stop. Trains Can’t.

That’s the message of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) heightened two-year effort to reduce accidents and fatalities at railroad crossings. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) have partnered in this nationwide, month-long effort to encourage motorists, particularly young males, to use caution when approaching railroad crossings.

The safety ad targets males aged 18 to 49 years and is running in the following states: California, Illinois, Texas, Louisiana, Indiana, Ohio, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, Alabama, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Mississippi, New Jersey, Arkansas and Arizona. These states have the nation’s 15 most dangerous crossings, and they’re where 75 percent of the crossing accidents occurred in 2015. Although the ad targets male motorists, the message is important for all motorists, and pedestrians.

While railroad crossing fatalities are an old problem, they’re easily avoidable. Remember: Trains cannot swerve, stop quickly or change directions to avert collisions, so YOU must stop at crossings and proceed cautiously. By law, trains have the right of way. Consider, too, that a freight train travelling at 55 miles per hour takes a mile to stop once the emergency brakes are applied. That’s the length of 18 football fields, or more!

Other helpful tips:

  • Slow down, look both ways and listen
  • Do not enter the crossing unless you are sure you can make it completely across
  • Never race a train
  • Never stop on tracks

To learn more about how you can improve rail safety as a motorist or pedestrian visit FRA’s interactive graphic.

For more information about “Stop. Trains Can’t.” visit the campaign webpage.

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