Transportation Rail Federal agencies

New rail-crossing safety campaign aimed at male drivers

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Photo: U.S. Department of Transportation

Washington – A new Department of Transportation railroad crossing safety ad campaign is aimed at male motorists in the states that have the nation’s 15 most dangerous crossings, as well as those that experienced 75 percent of crossing incidents in 2015.

Stop! Trains Can’t targets men 18 to 49 years old. The 30-second ad will air in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.

“This is an old problem, but one that can be solved,” Sarah Feinberg, administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration – a campaign partner – said in the release. “Nearly all deaths at crossings are preventable. The message of this ad has a clear, lifesaving message: Stop, because trains can’t.”

According to a press release from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, another partner in the campaign, 232 people died in railroad crossing incidents in 2016. A total of 264 deaths occurred in 2014, which represented a spike following years of decline since the 369 deaths reported to the Federal Railroad Administration in 2006.

Trains have the right of way by law, NHTSA states in the release, and freight trains traveling at 55 mph require about a mile to stop, even with the emergency brake engaged.

“Too many people are still taking unnecessary risks and needlessly paying with their lives,” former Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx said in the release. “These deaths are preventable, and this ad campaign is a reminder for everyone that ignoring signage at railroad crossings or attempting to race or beat a train can have deadly consequences.”

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