Railroad safety week reminders

Triston Cole _3
Triston Cole

Michigan 105th District State Rep. Triston Cole (D-Mancelona) urges residents to take care with observance of Rail Safety Week in Michigan, which runs Sept. 24-29.

Cole said the goal is to educate pedestrians and drivers about railway safety and raise awareness about train crossings and tracks.

“Continuing to educate residents about the dangers of railway crossings and trespassing on railroad tracks will reduce injury and fatalities,” said Cole, who chairs the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. “Educating and informing the public of railroad incidents can prevent accidents from occurring in the future. Make sure to look and listen while crossing a railway, and obey traffic laws.”

Cross railroad tracks only at designated crossings and never walk down the tracks. It could be fatal to ignore a signal or try to cross in front of a train.

Fifty-four crashes occurred at highway-rail grade crossings in Michigan in 2017, resulting in five fatalities and 18 injuries.

Sixteen pedestrians or trespassers were injured or killed while walking on or near railroad tracks in Michigan last year.

Michigan ranked in the top 10 nationally for highway-rail crossing incidents in 2016.