Missouri Department of Transportation Designates Week to Safety in Hopes of Reducing Risks of Railroad Accidents and Car Wrecks

May 22, 2011

The Missouri Department of Transportation has recently created various public service announcements in accordance with the National Operational Lifesaver Organization's "Getting There - Is It Worth Your Life?" campaign. According to an MoDOT news release, these PSAs are meant to shine light on the dangers that railroad crossings present to motorists and pedestrians. Residents are urged to follow all rail safety rules in an effort to reduce the risks of Missouri railroad crossing accidents.

Personal injury lawyers in Poplar Bluff, Cape Giradeau and elsewhere in Southeast Missouri know that more than 4,000 miles of railroad tracks and nearly 4,000 public highway-rail crossings in Missouri pose a threat to motorists. Accidents at railroad crossings typically result in catastrophic injuries or death. Everyone is urged to join this campaign and become familiar with the message of these PSAs to increase safety in and around railroad crossings throughout Missouri's Heartland.
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"With more than 4,000 miles of railroad track, 3,800 public crossings and 3,000 private crossings, rail safety is an important issue in Missouri," said Rod Massman, MoDOT's administrator of railroads. "We are stepping up our efforts to educate motorists about rail safety to reduce injuries and save lives."

The Department of Transportation announced that the week of April 25th has been declared rail safety week, according to The Republic. This is also when the PSA videos will become available to the public on the MoDOT YouTube channel.

Either a vehicle or a pedestrian is hit by a train every three hours in the United States. The Missouri State Highway Patrol, Missouri Operation Lifesaver and the Missouri Department of Transportation co-sponsor the week and will be supporting several ways to help educate Missourians about the importance of safe traveling near our railroad tracks.

MoDOT offers motorists and pedestrians these railroad safety tips:

-Never race a train to the crossing. Even if you tie, you lose.

-Don't allow yourself to get stuck on the tracks. Remember that the train is 3-feet wider than the tracks on each side.

-Expect a train to be on any track at any time.

-There may be more than one train crossing at a multiple track crossing. Always look out for a second train.

-Never drive through or around lowered railroad crossing gates. Not only is it illegal, it can be deadly.

-If your car stalls on the tracks quickly get away. Remember to move away from the tracks at a 45-degree angle, but in the direction the train is coming from so you have a reduced risk of being injured by flying debris.

-Be sure to cross tracks only at designated crossing areas.

-Stop your vehicle no closer than 15 feet from the railroad tracks.

-Keep in mind that freight trains cannot stop quickly. A train that's moving at 55 mph can take more than a mile to stop once the emergency brakes are applied.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a railroad crossing accident in Southeast Missouri, including Cape Girardeau, Popular Bluff and Jackson, contact the Injury Lawyers of Aaron Sachs & Associates for a free initial consultation. Call (573) 334-7959. Attorney meetings by appoinment only.

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