Stay Off Away From Tracks To Stay Safe

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The change of seasons encourages us to be bold, to step out, to get there sooner. While bold action can be admired in some cases, it’s a different story when it comes to railroad tracks.

Nearly a dozen people age 17 and under have been severely injured or killed on railroad tracks in the beginning of spring. Unfortunately, it happens nearly every year about this time.

A 6,000-ton train does not know what time of year it is. Here are a few important tips that could save a life:

• Modern trains are quieter than ever, with no telltale “clickety-clack.”

• Because of its size, the average train takes a mile or more-18 football fields-to come to a stop. Trains overhang the rails on each side by at least three feet. Loose straps hanging from freight cars may extend much farther.

• If you need to cross the tracks, the only safe place to cross is at a designated public crossing with a crossbuck, flashing red lights or a gate. If you cross at any other place, you are trespassing and can be ticketed or fined-or lose your life.

• If you come to a crossing and see flashing red lights, don’t ignore them. Stop: These lights signal the approach of a train. Never walk past these lights or around lowered gates at a crossing; wait until the lights have stopped flashing and the gates go completely up. If the gates stay down, there may be a second train coming on that or another track. Wait until the signals tell you that all is clear.

• Any time is train time. Don’t assume that because it’s late at night, the middle of the day, the weekend, or whatever time or day it is, trains are unlikely to come.

These tips will help you and your family and friends enjoy this season and many more to come.

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