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My name is Steve Young and I am a retired California Highway Patrol Officer. I will also be your instructor in one of the online traffic courses with B Line Traffic Schools. No matter what course you sign up for, my goals are the same: Present you with the information that you need in a way that will not put you to sleep and then get you back to your life.  Throughout some of the courses I have included interesting situations, people and other random things I have come across in my 25+ years with the CHP to break things up a bit. Ok ok, enough about me. Close this window and start your course with B Line Traffic Schools today.

Train Safety

03 Aug Blog | Comments

When learning about the rules of the road you were taught how to deal with all sorts of traffic. You should have been told: to keep your eyes out for motorcycles, how to stay back when driving behind a big rig, to always look ahead so you know what is coming up next, along with other great driving tips. What many people are not taught is how to be safe around trains. This article contains several tips for how to be safe, either in the car or as a pedestrian, around trains.

While driving in a car it is important to keep these train safety tips in mind:

  • The gates at railroad tracks are there for a reason, do not ever attempt to drive around them. It is not only illegal, but it can also be deadly.
  • As exciting as it looks in the movies trains and cars do not go together. Racing a train is very dangerous for both you and the train.
  • Keep in mind that trains are usually traveling with many cars that weigh a lot. Stopping that amount of weight takes a lot of time and length on the track. Some trains are moving at 55 mph and can take the equivalent of 18 or more soccer fields to stop, even once the emergency brakes have been applied.
  • The last thing you want to do is get stuck on train tracks. If the traffic in front of you is not moved far enough ahead for you to clear the tracks stay on the opposite side.

If you are pedestrian the following tips are very important:

  • The flashing red lights are there to warn you that a train is coming. That does not mean hurry up and cross train tracks. It means stop and wait for the train to pass.
  • Train tracks should only be crossed at places that are specifically designated for pedestrians to cross by using the crosswalk.
  • Do not assume that once the train has passed that it is safe to cross. Many times there is a second train coming either from the same direction or possibly the opposite direction. Wait for the red lights to stop flashing and the gates to come up, and even then look both directions before you cross.

One tip that applies to both cars and pedestrians is that even if the red lights are not flashing and the gates are not down, before you cross the railroad tracks always look both ways. If as a car you are at a 4-way stop you would look both ways to make sure it was safe before proceeding through the stop sign.

The same applies to pedestrian crossing a street even with the red light. You want to make sure the traffic on the other side stopped before you cross. It does you no harm to be cautious and look both ways before crossing the tracks. Train safety is mostly common sense, but it never hurts to remind ourselves to be extra careful when crossing train tracks.



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