State transportation and railroad officials are hoping to reduce the number of people killed or injured in crashes between trains and vehicles each year.
It’s Railroad Safety Week in Wisconsin and across the country – an effort focused on educating the public about the need to pay attention at railroad crossings when they are in a vehicle or on foot. Susie Klinger with Wisconsin Operation Life Saver says there are still far too many crashes involving cars and trains in the state, with 46 crashes and two fatalities in 2016 alone. “That’s still two too many,” she argues.
About 60 percent of those crashes were at crossings that had lights, gates or both installed. Klinger says it’s an issue with people being too distracted and not paying attention to what’s going on around them, and drivers should remember that a train could be coming at any time when they approach a crossing.
Klinger notes that those walking near tracks also need to pay attention, while remembering that the area around tracks is private property. Other than using marked crossings, she says people should stay at least 25 feet away from tracks at all times.