Safety first: Rail officials warn drivers about trying to beat trains

Posted: Updated:

This week marked Rail Safety Week across the United States in an effort to warn the public about the dangers that trains can pose.

Officials say trains strike one person or vehicle every three hours – or eight times a day across the United States.

“It takes a lot for [a train] to stop. I often hear people tell me, ‘Why didn’t the train stop?’ Well, a train can’t stop,” says Special Agent Diane Hummel with the Norfolk Southern Railway Police.

Officials say that it can take a fully-loaded train a mile and a half to come to a complete stop.

Some train conductors say that they find it hard to believe that some people will try to beat the train at the crossing.

“Sometimes people cut it so close, I can’t believe it,” says Wesley Barret, a conductor for Raritan Central. “It’s like they don’t even care about themselves.”

Officials say that aside from the obvious danger that trains pose, cutting in front of one could cost a fine. In New Jersey, cutting in front of a train could cost a fine of $85. The ticket will also add two points to a driver’s license.

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