If you live in Gulfport or anywhere on the Gulf Coast, you have probably encountered a railroad crossing or two. However, do you always know what to do at them?
Today kicks off Rail Safety Week 2020, a national rail safety awareness campaign all across North America.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, nationwide there are approximately 5,800 train-car crashes each year.
In order to help prevent railroad-car related accidents here in our state, the Mississippi Department of Transportation’s Katey Roh gives us some tips on how to stay safe around railways. “When approaching railroad crossings, drivers should always watch for signals. They need to also watch to see if the guard arms are down. A lot of times though, crossings won’t have those. So, when a driver approaches a situation like that, they need to look in both directions and make sure there’s not a train oncoming. A lot of times people can get complacent if they frequently travel over a particular crossing, but it’s important to keep your guard up even in those situations because trains don’t always run on a regular schedule.”
Roh also recommends that drivers turn their radios down when nearing a crossing in order to hear the train whistle and signals.
Additionally, Roh warns that is dangerous and illegal to try and beat a train to try and cross the railroad tracks.