A Union Pacific freight train carries goods. (credit: David McNew/Getty Images)

A Union Pacific freight train carries goods. (credit: David McNew/Getty Images)

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – The Union Pacific Railroad is kicking off a new campaign that has them working with local police to enforce grade crossing laws.

Officials are teaming up in conjunction with Union Pacific’s new educational push to “Always Expect A Train.”

Railroad spokesman Mark Davis said local police officers will ride the rails, looking for drivers outside who are violating the law. “We’ll have one officer that will ride on the train and then he radios to the officer on the ground and that person then is pulled over.”

According to UP, a train moving at full speed can travel 41 feet in the blink of an eye.

Davis said the penalties for drivers not being cautious, when approaching railroad tracks, could be stiff. “When a local officer, that’s onboard the train, sees a person that has violated the crossing laws, then that person could be pulled over and issued a citation.”

When comparing the weight of a train to an automobile a good analogy would be comparing the weight of an automobile to a tin can.

Union Pacific officials said the ultimate goal of the “Always Expect A Train” campaign is to reduce the number of grade crossing accidents in the state. Texas has more railroad crossings than any U.S. state.

Drivers approaching a railroad crossing are encouraged to –

  • Stop, listen and look both directions
  • Be aware that using earbuds or headphones could prevent you from hearing an approaching train
  • Assume a train is coming if the crossing arms are down or if the lights are flashing
  • Never drive around crossing arms, and never stop on railroad tracks

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