Not everyone who trespasses on railroad property does so with bad intentions. Perhaps they think it’s a faster way to get home from school or a good spot to take photos. Regardless of intent, trespassing isn’t just illegal: it’s dangerous. Pedestrians who walk or play around railroad tracks should be aware of the risks and stay off the tracks. It takes a freight train traveling 55 mph more than a mile to stop. By the time a locomotive engineer sees a person on the tracks, it is too late to stop the train.
The only safe, legal place to cross railroad tracks is at a designated pedestrian crossing. Remember, crossing arms aren’t just meant for motorists. Never walk around them.
Be sure to remember these safety tips:
- Always look both ways before crossing train tracks.
- Always expect a train on any track, at any time and from any direction.
- Always watch for signals indicating that a train is coming. Flashing lights and ringing bells mean STOP and wait for the train to pass. NEVER walk under or around pedestrian gates.
- Know how to report safety or security issues at a crossing. Underneath the crossbuck sign located near the crossing, you can find information about the street name, railroad milepost number, Department of Transportation identification number and letter (“DOT 123456X”), and an emergency phone number to report safety or security issues.