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Railroad crossings in Layton need respect

Article Published 06/05/2017
It is 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 3 in Layton City, just after dark. A group of six young teenagers, some on bicycles and others on skateboards, heading eastbound on Gordon Avenue, decide to take some risky actions crossing the main railroad tracks.
Despite the crossing arms being down, most of the group still race across the tracks to beat the oncoming FrontRunner train by mere seconds. The engineer spots the teens and blows his horn. Only one of the teens boys waited for the train, but the second it passes – and with the crossing arms still down – he crosses the tracks anyway to rejoin the group.
All it would have taken was a slight stumble or misstep to create a deadly accident, since the train was traveling more than 65 mph; or what if a second train was also headed through the crossing?
This dangerous behavior is likely all too common in such social situations. Parents need to be aware where their children are after dark this summer and also to teach basic railroad safety to them.
 Layton City is frequently traversed by trains on the Union Pacific line and UTA’s FrontRunner tracks.
Today’s railroad crossings feature vehicle barriers that stop vehicle traffic automatically when a train nears. However, pedestrians on sidewalks at railroad crossings, such as the one at Gordon Avenue, may find no barriers in their way when a train is approaching.
As such, pedestrians need to exercise extra caution at all railroad crossings, since it may be just a dozen seconds or so after railroad crossing lights are activated before a train reaches that crossing.
Nationally, a vehicle, or person is hit by a train – on average – every three hours in the United States.
Parents living near train tracks especially need to be sure their children know basic railroad crossing safety.
Here are railroad crossing safety tips:
-Always look both ways before you cross a railroad track, especially since train whistles are not regularly blown by trains now.
-Headphones should not be worn around railroad tracks, since they might keep you from hearing an oncoming train.
-Do not text, or use any mobile device while walking near a railroad crossing, as it may distract you from the dangers of an on-coming train.
-Stay behind the equivalent of the crossing arms area while a train is passing, in order to avoid being hit by items that may be projected out from the side of a shifted load.
-Do not walk down any railroad tracks. The railroad is private property.
-Crawling under, between, or climbing over the cars of a stopped train is dangerous, risking serious injury if the train starts up suddenly.
-Do not throw rocks, or place any objects on the tracks. Attempted train wrecking is a crime. Objects placed on the tracks could also be thrown sideways by a passing train, possibly damaging nearby vehicles, or injuring someone.
-Always expect a train at a crossing. Trains do not always follow set schedules.
-Do not play “dare you” kind of games around railroad crossings.
For more information on railroad safety, go to “Operation Lifesaver” at:
http://oli.org/rail-safety/education