Organization offers tips for biking near railroad tracks

More than 760 people were killed last year while walking, biking or playing on railroad tracks. In light of these statistics and May being National Bike Month, Operation Lifesaver Inc., an Alexandria, VA-based nonprofit organization focused on educating the public about railroad hazards, is offering tips for safe biking near railroad tracks:

  • Walk your bike across train tracks at a 90-degree angle. Narrow bike wheels can get caught in the tracks.
  • Only cross tracks at a designated public crossing with a crossbuck, flashing red lights or a gate.
  • Turn off any music and remove headphones when crossing train tracks. Trains can approach more quietly and quickly than you may think.
  • Always dismount your bike and walk it across the tracks, avoiding metal rails in wet conditions, as tracks may become slippery.
  • Wait until the train fully passes and look in both directions before crossing the tracks. Often, a second train can be blocked from view.
  • Never go around a lowered gate or ignore flashing lights. Wait until the lights go off and gates are completely raised before proceeding through a railroad crossing.

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