ISHPEMING — This week, the Michigan Department of Transportation is participating in National Rail Safety Week, in hopes of increasing safety for pedestrians and drivers around railroad tracks.
The Michigan Operation Lifesaver and its partners are stressing extra caution around trains. They’re often forgotten about while on the road. In 2017, there were 54 crashes at highway-rail grade crossings in the state alone, resulting in 5 deaths and 18 injuries. From inattentiveness to failure to follow signage and lights, these crashes are preventable in the first place.
“Just be cautious when you approach a railroad crossing at grade-level and never drive around barriers when they come down, indicating that a train is crossing,” said MDOT Communications Representative, Dan Weingarten. “Never try to outran a train that is approaching a crossing, a lot of times people driving think they can ‘floor it’ and beat the train – it’s a really bad idea.”
MDOT says there is more information available regarding rail safety at www.oli.org