BURLESON (CBSDFW.COM) – On Thursday authorities “staked out” a North Texas railroad crossing and issued 20 citations in a 3-hour period.
The crackdown on drivers trying to beat trains happened in Burleson, at the Alsbury Boulevard crossing. Police teamed up with Union Pacific Railroad watching for those ignoring the flashing red lights. But the location wasn’t picked randomly. Roger Rhoderick, a special agent with Union Pacific, said, “Our trains have been reporting people trying to beat the train there… in that area.”
The crackdown ended when a driver actually struck the railroad-crossing gate, damaging it. Law dictates that if the railroad crossing arms are down or warning lights are flashing, drivers may not cross the railroad tracks. “We want folks to pay attention, stay safe, stay alive, and try to stay away from the railroad tracks,” Rhoderick said. “Trains don’t take that long to get by and just take a little time and wait.”
Since May 2009, in Burleson alone, three people have been killed in crashes involving trains at railroad crossings.
While the nearly two-dozen citations issued Thursday may sound like a lot, Special Agent Rhoderick said that isn’t the record in North Texas. “We’ve got as many as 100 in Arlington/Grand Prairie, but that included quite a few more officers and more crossings.”
In Burleson, the violators weren’t limited to just drivers. Four pedestrians were caught trying to cross the tracks in the wrong places and were warned and released.
There will be more railroad crossing enforcement initiatives taking place across North Texas, as part of Union Pacific’s ‘Crossing Accident Reduction Safety Program.’
Just FYI, the ticket for impatient drivers ran $176.
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