Trooper standing in front of railroad tracks watching cars drive by

Stay Safe Around Railroad Crossings and Tracks

Author: Dabney Weems

The North Carolina State Highway Patrol is participating in “Operation Clear Track” this week (Sept. 20-26). The safety initiative is part of Rail Safety Week that is held in an effort to reduce preventable deaths and injuries near trains and train tracks.

During the initiative, troopers are positioned at rail crossings to distribute safety cards and enforce grade crossings and trespassing laws.

“Railway grade-crossing collisions are without question some of the most dangerous, yet most easily preventable hazards,” said Col. Freddy Johnson, commander of the State Highway Patrol. “This year there have been 17 fatalities at rail crossings across North Carolina. We will continue to focus on rail safety through enforcement and educational awareness until the number of fatalities is zero.”

Know the signs and signals. Rail Safety Week.

Keep yourself safe at train crossings by remembering these tips:

  • When crossing train tracks, go to a designated crossing and look both ways.
  • Never race a train to a crossing.
  • Do not drive around lowered gates. It is unsafe and is illegal.
  • Never stop your car on train tracks. 
  • If your vehicle stalls on the tracks, get out of the vehicle and get away from it. Locate the Emergency Notification System sign and call the number provided. 
  • Train tracks are on private property. Never walk on the tracks. It is dangerous and considered trespassing.
  • Only cross train tracks at designated pedestrian or roadway crossings

Hear from the NC Department of Transportation on rail safety in their September NCDOT Now episode.

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