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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 and general manager of Heartland Internet Media Networks. He is an active contributor to the Nokomis Free Press-Progress in Nokomis, IL. He currently serves as chairman of Tri-Counties Libertarian Party, as deputy communications director for the Libertarian Party of Illinois and as chairman and co-founder of the Libertarian Party Millennial Caucus. He has also been politically active since 2015, having run for city council, state representative, school board and is currently running for state senator for the 2018 election season.

Important reminders to motorists regarding train safety