Railroads are private property. Trespassers are those who are on railroad property without permission. Trespassing along railroad rights-of-way is the leading cause of rail-related fatalities in America.
Trespassers are most often pedestrians who walk across or along the railroad tracks as a shortcut, or are loitering or engaging in recreational activities. Trespassing on railroad property is a property crime and a general offense.
A highway-railroad crossing is an intersection of railroad tracks and highway at the same grade level. It is critically important that drivers and pedestrians take special care at these crossings to ensure safety. The U.S. Department of Transportation offers the following steps for safety at highway/rail grade crossings:
- Approach with care
- Warn others that you are slowing down
- Turn on 4-way flashers
- Use pull-out lane if available
- Prepare to Stop
- Turn off fans and radio and roll down windows
- Be aware of the location of your cell phone for use in emergency
- Stop at least 15 feet, but not more than 50 feet from nearest rail
- Look and listen both ways, carefully
- Bend forward to see around mirrors and A-pillars
- If it won’t fit, don’t commit
- Trains extend beyond the width of the rails at least 3 feet on each side. Remember your vehicle – and cargo- overhang.
- Look again. Before you move, look again in both directions.
- Signal, watch for a safe gap, pull back onto the road if you used a pull-out lane
- Use the highest gear that will let you cross without shifting
Operation Lifesaver’s mission is to end collisions, deaths and injuries at highway-rail grade crossings and on rail property through a nationwide network of volunteers who work to educate people about rail safety.
Richard D. Gent Level 2 Trainer
Nevada Operation Lifesaver
5990 Zephyr Lane
Fallon, NV 89406