GUTHRIE, Okla. (KFOR) – A Central Oklahoma police department is asking Oklahomans to be cautious at train crossings.
“Injuries and deaths occur at rail crossings every day. Most of these tragedies are preventable,” Guthrie Police Department officials said on social media.
Officials said that although highway-rail crossing incidents and fatalities has declined for decades, the number of drivers going through lowered train crossing gates has increased in recent years.
“Even in an emergency, some trains can take a mile (or more) to stop,” officials said.
Guthrie police provided the following tips for navigating freight and commuter train crossings:
- Stop, look both ways, and listen. Remember that trains always have the right of way.
- Make sure you have room to get across. Once you enter the crossing, keep moving.
- Stop 15 feet away from flashing red lights, lowered gates, a signaling flagman or a stop sign.
- Never try to drive around a lowering gate. Never ignore signals, and always use caution.
- Before you begin to cross, wait for gates to fully rise and for all lights to stop flashing.
- Never assume that there is only one train coming from a single direction.
- If your car stalls on a rail track, quickly get everyone out – even if you don’t see a train coming. Then, run away from the tracks and your car. Avoid running in the same direction that the train is coming, because you could be hit by flying debris if a train hits your car. When it’s safe to do so, call the number on the blue Emergency Notification System sign. If the sign is not visible to you, call 911.