How to be safe around railroad crossings

One man is still in stable condition at USA Hospital after colliding with a train in Saucier yesterday. The cause of this incident is still under investigation.

Harrison County Sheriff Troy Peterson said, “I guess more often than people would think, we have train accidents all of the time in the rural part of Harrison County, whether it is them hitting a train or a train actually hitting them. It is pretty frequent.” Startling words coming from Harrison County Sheriff Troy Peterson.

These are tragedies that could be prevented by practicing three simple steps at railroad crossings. Harrison County Fire Marshal Pat Sullivan said, “Stop, look, and listen. When you come to a train track or a crossing of any type, stop then look both ways and listen for any type of warning devices, any horns. You’re looking for a train, you’re looking for lights on a train. You are listening for the whistle or the horn on the train.”

While many of us lead busy lives, you should never try to outrun a train, the average train can be traveling at 80 miles per hour and it can take them up to a mile and a half to stop. “A train is a heavy moving vehicle. It’s a mode of transportation that hauls numerous equipment on and lumber and everything else on. They have the right-a-way no matter what. Any way you look at it, the right-a-way is theirs on the tracks.”

When you are driving you should not be on your phone, talking or eating, to avoid getting into a car crash. “Not being distracted by whatever is going on on the other end of that phone and not either hearing a train or not realizing that you are coming up to a track and that it may not be controlled, but you should have stopped, that’s dangerous,” said Sullivan.

Sheriff Peterson says he doesn’t believe that the county will be adding more crossing gates anytime soon.

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