CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - After a deadly holiday weekend where four people in Missouri were hit and killed on tracks, the Missouri Department of Transportation, Missouri State Highway Patrol and Missouri Operation Lifesaver remind pedestrians about the dangers of disregarding railroad crossing laws and trespassing on railroad property.
"Collisions between vehicles/pedestrians and trains are tragic, but preventable," said Tim Hull, Missouri Operation Lifesaver State Coordinator. "Railroad tracks are private property and trespassing is dangerous, illegal and it can be deadly. If you see tracks? Think Train."
So far in 2016 , there have been 12 trespass incidents resulting in six deaths and four serious injuries.
According to Operation Lifesaver, a national non-profit rail safety education organization, a person or vehicle is hit by a train approximately every three hours across the US. Trains move faster and are much quieter than people think. Trains can't stop quickly, they can't swerve to avoid someone or something on the tracks and they overhang the tracks by at least three feet in both directions.
"A simple rule to follow around railroad property is: Stay Off! Stay Away! Stay Alive," said MoDOT Multimedia Operations Director Michelle Teel.
Some other safety tips
- Do not walk on or over railroad property.
- Cross tracks only at designated pedestrian or roadway crossings.
- Do not cross the tracks immediately after a train passes. A second train might be blocked by the first.
- Never walk around or behind lowered gates at a crossing.
- Stay alert around trains. No texting, ear buds or other distractions.
- Never mix rails and recreation. Do not hunt, fish, or bungee jump from railroad bridges or trestles.
- Do not attempt to hop aboard railroad equipment at any time.
- Do not take selfies or posed photography on or near tracks or railroad bridges.
- Be aware trains do not follow set schedules.