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