November 15, 2019

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Indiana pushing Rail Safety Week to save lives

Indiana Railroad Accident Attorney

by admin on September 26, 2018

Recent deaths involving railroad trains and auto drivers has the state of Indiana working hard to promote Rail Safety Week. By spreading awareness, they hope to save lives.

Indiana ranks sixth nationwide for railroad crossing collisions. Statistics from 2017 indicate that 101 accidents were reported, ending in 47 injuries and 12 deaths. Additionally, 10 pedestrians were killed and nine more injured last year. Clark County saw five train-vehicle collisions, causing three deaths and four injuries. No deaths or injuries were reported in Jackson, Floyd or Scott Counties.

As part of Indiana Rail Safety Week, which was promoted by Gov. Eric Holcomb, Indiana State Police team up with railroad companies, Indiana Department of Transportation and Indiana Operation Lifesaver to post extra warning signs near historically dangerous crossings. The signs read “See Tracks? Think Train.”

Promoters of railroad crossing safety say that the primary reasons for railroad accidents are from ignoring railroad crossings, complacency, distractions and being in a hurry. Drivers cross tracks so many times daily that they get use to never seeing a train, hear a train, and nothing occurs. Then out of the blue, a train comes flying down the tracks taking complacent drivers by surprise. Most dangerous intersections are those without a crossing arm or flashing lights. Drivers tend not to stop at crossings with only a stop sign or white marker. They seem to forget that its there.

In addition to awareness of the crossings and its dangers, part of Rail Safety Week is to remind folks that there is a punitive side of violating traffic laws by not stopping and obeying railroad signals and signs. Drivers will be ticketed when caught, especially when driving around dropped railroad arm gates. Such an infraction could result in a minimum fine of $150.

Finally, awareness efforts are targeting pedestrians, especially those found walking along train tracks. Yes, it is against the law. Those who do so can be arrested and charged for trespassing. There were 10 pedestrians killed and nine injured in 2017.

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