The Pleasanton Police Department, Texas Department of Public Safety and Union Pacific Railroad Police joined together in a train safety enforcement operation on Wednesday, Oct. 25.
Union Pacific Railroad partners with Operation Lifesaver, a non-profit program dedicated to reducing collisions, fatalities and injuries at highway-rail crossings and trespassing on or near railroad tracks. A startling statistic about trains in the U.S. is about every three hours a person or vehicle is hit by a train.
“This operation helps increase awareness and save lives. We do not want someone to lose their lives tragically in a train collision,” said Pleasanton PD Chief Ronald Sanchez.
Over 30 citations were given between Pleasanton PD and local DPS officers in a two hour timespan for making illegal crossings on the train tracks at Fifth St., Adams St., Hwy. 97 and Commerce St. Fines for those citations start at $50 and can go up to $500.
Union Pacific Railroad and Operation Lifesaver offers nine basic tips for drivers at railroad crossings.
-Trains and cars don’t mix. Never race a train to the crossing — even if you tie, you lose.
-The train you see is closer and faster-moving than you think. If you see a train approaching, wait for it to go by before you proceed across the tracks.
-Be aware that trains cannot stop quickly. Even if the locomotive engineer sees you, a freight train moving at 55 miles per hour can take a mile or more to stop once the emergency brakes are applied. That’s 18 football fields!
-Never drive around lowered gates — it’s illegal and deadly. If you suspect a signal is malfunctioning, call the emergency number posted on or near the crossing signal or your local law enforcement agency.
-Do not get trapped on the tracks; proceed through a highway-rail grade crossing only if you are sure you can completely clear the crossing without stopping. Remember, the train is three feet wider than the tracks on both sides.
-If your vehicle ever stalls on the tracks, get out and get away from the tracks, even if you do not see a train. Locate the Emergency Notification System sign and call the number provided, telling them about the stalled vehicle. If a train is approaching, run toward the train but away from the tracks at a 45 degree angle. If you run in the same direction a train is traveling, you could be injured by flying debris.
-At a multiple track crossing waiting for a train to pass, watch out for a second train on the other tracks, approaching from either direction.
-When you need to cross train tracks, go to a designated crossing, look both ways, and cross the tracks quickly, without stopping. Remember it isn’t safe to stop closer than 15 feet from a rail.
-Always expect a train! Freight trains do not follow set schedules.
See our video taken last week by visiting www.pleasantonexpress.com.