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Published On: Sat, Jun 24th, 2017

Important reminders to motorists regarding train safety

NOKOMIS (Heartland Newsfeed) — With accidents happening so close to each other this past week in Raymond and east of Ohlman, with a third involving a 10-year-old boy on a bicycle in Decatur — the unfortunate Rule of Threes regarding bad news — it has become crucial to review tip from Operation Lifesaver regarding train safety. The following is information and tip provided by the program:

  • Trains and cars don’t mix. Never race a train to the crossing — even if you tie, you lose.
  • The train you see is closer and faster-moving than you think. If you see a train approaching, wait for it to go by before you proceed across the tracks.
  • Be aware that trains are incapable of stopping quickly. Even if the locomotive engineer can see you, a freight train going 55 miles per hour can take a mile or longer to stop once the emergency brakes are applied — that’s right, roughly 18 football fields!
  • Never drive around lowered gates — it’s illegal and deadly. If you suspect a signal is malfunctioning, call the emergency number posted on or near the crossing or local law enforcement.
  • Do not get trapped on the tracks and proceed through a highway-rail grade crossing only if you are sure you can completely clear the crossing without stopping. Remember, the train is three feet wider than the tracks on both sides.
  • If a vehicle ever stalls on the tracks, get out and away from the tracks, even if you don’t see a train coming. Locate the Emergency Notification System sign and call the number provided and notify them about the stalled vehicle. If a train is approaching, run toward the train at a 45-degree angle. Don’t run in the same direction as the train, as you could become injured by flying debris.
  • At a multiple track crossing waiting for a train to pass, watch out for a second train on the other tracks approaching from either direction.
  • When you need to cross the train tracks, go to a designated crossing, look both ways and cross the tracks quickly without stopping. It isn’t safe to stop closer than 15 feet from a railway.
  • ALWAYS EXPECT A TRAIN — freight trains do not follow set schedules.

About the Author

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Jake Leonard is the editor-in-chief of Heartland Newsfeed. He is general manager of Heartland Internet Media Networks, an active contributor to the Nokomis Free Press-Progress/The Morrisonville Times and serves as website administrator for Pana News, Inc. He also serves as chairman of Tri-Counties Libertarian Party, deputy communications director for the Libertarian Party of Illinois and as chairman/co-founder of the Libertarian Party Millennial Caucus.

Important reminders to motorists regarding train safety