IL State Police to give citations during Rail Safety Week

ILLINOIS (KFVS) - This week is Rail Safety Week in Illinois and state police will be out giving tickets to drivers who aren't following the rules at a railroad crossing.

More than 330 millions people cross railroad tracks every day, with almost 1,000 casualties last year.

Longbranch Café in sits adjacent to the train tracks in Carbondale. Elaine Ramseyer, the owner, deals with the trains everyday. She calls them, "Dangerous and necessary."

Her business has been there for 20 years, so she's seen witnessed a lot.

"I'll see people you know, try to shoot around the rail. And look down the track. And try and race the train. These are all pretty foolhardy things that we should not do," Ramseyer explained.

One time a train stopped on the tracks for a period of time, she explained the story, but, of course, with a train passing.

"My employee parking lot is on the other side of the track." As the consistent and loud trains pass, she finished, "So the employees actually crawled in between the cars because they didn't want to be late which was super dangerous, which I really did not like."

Brad Rueter, the special agent with Canadian National (CN), explained the laws people seem to always break.

"Two main problems that we have on the railroad are trespassing and people violating the crossing signals and gates...we aiming at changing attitudes and behaviors. It's not about being out there writing the individual citation, it's about what can we do as CN police to change the behavior of that person so that we don't get the kind of results that we have been getting."

"Trains have the same weight ratio to a vehicle as a vehicle does to a can of soda.  It's 4000 to 1!", stated Lieutenant Michael Alvey, District 13 / 22 Commander.  "Because of the energy involved in train collisions, there simply is no winning.  That's why it is so important to obey the laws concerning rail roads and trains", Alvey continued.

Ramseyer concluded, "We can only try to keep people so safe , they have to cooperate with the safety measure."

Illinois is ranked #2 in the nation railroad crossing fatalities, right behind Texas.

Join us and take Safety Pledge during Rail Safety Week.

The CN Police Emergency Hotline 1-800-465-9239

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