What's the hurry? Never race a train

Johnson City Press • Jan 3, 2018 at 12:00 AM

It's not uncommon to see a driver race through a railroad crossing in our area just as the red warning lights start to flash and the gates begin to lower. That's not only stupid, it's incredibly dangerous.

You have to ask: What is their hurry? Is getting to where they are going a few minutes earlier really worth risking their lives?

Tennessee, which has 2,651 miles of track and 4,600 highway railroad crossings, has one of the highest vehicle-train collision rates in the nation. A driver or pedestrian should never attempt to go around lowered gates at a railroad crossing.

If you come to a crossing and see flashing red lights, don’t ignore them. Come to a complete stop. These lights signal the approach of a train (or, as is often the case at crossings in downtown Johnson City, a service vehicle). Wait until the lights have stopped flashing and the gates rise completely before crossing the tracks.

Other things to remember when approaching a railroad crossing:

• Always expect a train. Railway crossings see train traffic at all hours of the day or night.

• Never race a train to a crossing. Remember, there is no tie in a race with a train.

• Never get trapped on a crossing. Proceed through a crossing only if you are sure you can safely clear all the tracks.

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