Memphis rail company raises awareness about train crossing safety

Memphis rail company raises awareness about train crossing safety

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Drivers are 20 times more likely to die in a crash with a train than with another vehicle.

That's why June 3 is known as International Railway Crossing Awareness Day and is observed in 43 countries around the world.

Wednesday morning, railway and law enforcement agencies came together at the BNSF railway hub on Lamar to talk about safety and prevention on the tracks.

Officers then loaded onto trains and sat near railroad crossings to try to catch those who violate the safety laws.

"A common violation would be going around the gates or not yielding to the trains," said Denise Gauthier, who works for BNSF railways.

As a part of the international awareness day, Operation Lifesaver released a new PSA video to usher in their new "See tracks, think train!" awareness campaign.

The video reminds drivers that a train can't steer to avoid a collision, and it could take more than a mile for a fully-loaded train to come to a complete stop in an emergency.

"We want to bring awareness to people to stop and not take any risks at these crossings," Gauthier added.

Railroad safety officials added that drivers crossing railroad tracks are not the only people that need to be alert.

In July 2014, a jogger running along the train tracks in Germantown was killed. To avoid similar tragedies, railroad safety officials ask pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists to pay attention to active warnings, flashing lights, and gates at crossings.

For more information on the Operation Lifesavers campaign, click here.

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