Railroad crossing safety is paramount

Published 7:00 am Thursday, March 9, 2017

Earlier this week news spread about a fatal train accident in Bilox involving a bus loaded with more than 40 tourists from Texas. 

This incident took place at an intersection where only a few months ago a delivery truck was also struck by a train, making this intersection a problem area.

News reports state the crossing has a steep embankment, creating a situation where longer vehicles can become stuck when trying to cross.

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There’s nothing worse than trying to cross a dangerous location and finding that the vehicle is incapacitated, putting the driver and passengers in harm’s way.

According to reports about this incident, the bus was stuck at that location for at least five minutes before the accident occurred.

While several questions will remain as the investigation continues, here are some tips to consider when crossing railroad tracks.

According to Gieco website, if the vehicle you are in stalls on the tracks, exit the vehicle and move in the direction the train is coming. If you choose to run away from the train, you will stay in the path of danger after the train impacts the stalled vehicle, pushing it and any debris toward you.

When approaching a crossing, even if there are lights and gates, look both ways before moving forward.

Just like with any mechanical or electrical device, malfunctions occur.

Trust your eyes over a light or gate. Also, never try to beat a train or pass through the gates when they are down. Even if the train appears to be moving slowly, their weight means it takes much longer to come to a complete stop.

Lastly, if you reach a red light and traffic is backed up to the point that your vehicle is sitting on the tracks, stop before the tracks.

Waiting one more light cycle is worth it.