According to the Federal Safety Administration, around 2,000 people have died in the past decade in railroad collisions. These train accidents result from several factors such as; warning lights and signals failing to work properly, train conductors not following posted speed laws or failing to notify passing cars at upcoming intersections, or driver neglect.
As a personal injury attorney who frequently represents railroad accident victims I know first hand how traumatic a train collision can be. Fortunately so does the railroad giant, Burlington Northern Santa Fe.
Burlington Northern Santa Fe, or BNSF, is working with local law enforcement in select areas of the United States to promote driver awareness. The campaign, known as “Officer on a Train,” places a police officer on a train during its normal route. The officer then looks for drivers who do not follow railroad safety laws such as stopping behind the train tracks.
Right now the “Officer on a Train” safety campaign is working its way through Kansas (KS). Hopefully, the BNSF railroad will make a stop in North Carolina (NC) soon. However, North Carolina (NC) drivers can work to increase railroad safety awareness on their own. If you frequently travel across train tracks remember that train safety arms and warning lights can malfunction. Always look both ways and use extreme caution when traveling across the tracks. Never attempt to “beat the train” by speeding through a closing stop arm. These arms can get lodged on your vehicle causing you to be stuck on the train tracks while a train is approaching. Finally, if you car becomes stalled on train tracks always exit the vehicle. Do not remain inside the vehicle. A train can approach quickly and you may not have time to exit your car.
About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper, Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm (VA-NC law offices ) edits the injury law blogs Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard, and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as a pro bono service to consumers.