Campaign Strives To Reduce Railroad Crossing Accidents & Deaths

According to recent statistics from the Federal Railroad Authority (FRA), deaths at rail crossings continue to increase with more than 230 fatalities reported in 2014.

These grim figures have prompted officials at the U.S. Department of Transportation to launch a new safety ad campaign to reduce accidents and preventable deaths at railroad crossings throughout the country.

The $7 million ad campaign, “Stop! Trains Can’t” is a collaborative effort by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Railroad Administration. Announced on January 13, the initiative is targeting male drivers aged 18 to 49 years, who are statistically more likely to swerve around flashing railroad crossing gates in attempt to save time.

Campaign to reduce rail crossing deaths

The video, digital and radio ad campaign will run in states that claim the nation’s highest rate of railroad  fatalities and most dangerous crossings including: California, Texas, Georgia, Louisiana, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Florida, New Jersey, Missouri, North Carolina, New York, South Carolina, Kentucky, Arizona, Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, Pennsylvania and Arkansas.

“Your life is worth more than a few saved minutes, and trying to outrun a train isn’t worth the risk,” offered NHTSA official Dr. Mark Rosekind. Former U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx adds that many of these railroad crossing deaths are entirely preventable. With hope, this ad campaign will remind motorists of the deadly consequences of ignoring flashing signs and trying to race a train.

At the heart of the campaign is a 30-second video that shows a truck being broadsided by a speeding locomotive after it attempts to cross the tracks.  The clip features a strong warning to motorists: “If you think trains will stop if they see a car on the tracks, you’re right. They will – about a mile after they hit you.”

Multiple strategies to enhance safety

The campaign is part of a larger two-year effort to encourage drivers to “make the right choice” at rail crossings and heed warning signs. The NHTSA and FRA are adopting a multi-pronged approach to lower fatality rates by:

  • Testing new intrusion detection technology that would give advanced warning to engineers if a car was on the tracks
  • Better communication and sharing of information to identify the country’s more dangerous railroad crossings
  • Investing millions of dollars to upgrade railroad crossings where energy products and crude oil are transported
  • Collaborating with tech companies to incorporate new rail crossings on map applications

Legal advocacy in New York

The Sanders Firm supports any initiative aimed at improving railroad, motorist and pedestrian safety.  If you or someone you love were harmed in a railroad crossing accident in the greater New York area, our personal injury attorneys are here to protect your legal rights.

As one of New York’s largest and most-respected law firms, we are well-versed in complex transportation cases, including claims for personal injury and wrongful death. Call today to arrange a free, no-obligation case review. Resources

  1. NHTSA, DOT Launches New Railroad Crossing Safety Ad Campaign
  2. Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee, Rail Crossing Safety