March 16, 2018 05:20 PM
2017 was a dangerous year at railroad crossings throughout Minnesota.
The state saw 34 collisions at public crossings in 2017, a 17 percent increase from 2016, when there were 29 collisions, according to new Federal Railroad Administration statistics. Meanwhile, there was just a 3 percent increase nationally.
Minnesota Operation Lifesaver Executive Director Sheryl Cummings said she can't explain the increase, but she can explain the root cause.
"There's no new news," she said. "It's still impatience, it's still disregard for traffic control devices, it's still distractions."
How to Improve Rail Safety (According to the Federal Railroad Administration)
As a Motorist:
As a Pedestrian:
At a Passive Crossing (without active warning devices):
And here's another important point: safety measures alone can't keep you safe. One third of Minnesota's collisions occurred at crossings with gate arms, and nearly 75 percent happened at crossings with active warning devices or stop signs.
"Clearly, education is that last piece that really needs that extra push. If we're not using those tools, they can't help us," Cummings said.
The new Federal Railroad Administration numbers did contain some good news too. Minnesota saw a decrease in the number of people who were killed or seriously injured as a result of trespassing on railroad tracks. That's despite a national increase.
Updated: March 16, 2018 05:20 PM
Created: March 16, 2018 01:50 PM
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