“Stop! Trains Can’t,” Motorists Lose Against Trains at Railroad Crossings

Railroad crossing accidentsEvery three hours a vehicle or person is struck by a train in the United States. Indeed, ignoring railroad signs and crossing signals or trying to beat the train, has deadly consequences. Last year, 232 people died in crashes involving trains, pedestrians and motorists at railroad crossings throughout the country, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).

“Motorists are no match for a fast-moving train,” said Attorney James Johnson, a California railroad attorney. “The time saved by risking one’s life is minor compared to what is at stake: a person’s life.”

To help inform motorists, particularly young males, DOT recently launched a $7 million advertising campaign to promote public awareness of the dangers at railroad crossings. The “Stop! Trains Can’t” campaign, a joint effort between the National Highway Transportation Safety and the Federal Railroad administrations, is scheduled to run for the next two years. The goal is to reduce collisions and fatalities in the U.S.

The number of railroad accidents has declined over the past decade, but it spiked in 2014 and DOT is hoping to raise awareness about these preventable tragedies.  The target audience is men ages 18 to 49 years old and will run in the states where the nation’s 15 most dangerous railroad crossings are located or that had 75 percent of all crossing accidents in 2015.

The states are: California, Illinois, Texas, Louisiana, Indiana, Ohio, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, Alabama, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Mississippi, New Jersey, Arkansas and Arizona.

Under federal laws, a train has the right-of-way because they are unable to stop, swerve or avoid a collision. In fact, a train traveling at 55 mph needs the length of 18 football fields or at least one mile to completely stop with the emergency brake.


A collision between a train and a pedestrian or a motorist is usually a devastating accident and often preventable, but a negligent driver who causes another person injuries or loss of life can be held liable under California laws. A full investigation into what led to the collision is likely to take significant time and resources, but odds are a victim seeking justice will need their own attorney. Johnson Attorneys Group has handled cases involving the railroads and train accidents.

Call us for a free case evaluation at 800-235-6801 and we will be happy to answer any questions about how to protect your legal rights.

Find out more about the campaign “Stop! Trains Can’t” at www.transportation.gov/stop-trains-cant.

— sks

Johnson Attorneys Group

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