Union Pacific Railroad Delivers Safety Message to El Paso November 13-14
El Paso, Texas. – A special Union Pacific Railroad passenger train is rolling toward El Paso for a series of safety rides and presentations that begins Friday, November 13.
Local officials and school children will ride Union Pacific’s safety train to observe motorist behavior on television monitors that transmit live footage from a video camera that is mounted on the front of the locomotive. The view will give passengers the rare opportunity to observe what train crews see as they travel down the track-drivers ignoring railroad warning signals and racing across the tracks.
During the train rides, Union Pacific and Operation Lifesaver representatives will discuss the tragic consequences caused by risky driving and trespassing on railroad tracks. “Trains cannot stop quickly, but drivers can,” said Andy Yedlick, superintendent for Union Pacific’s El Paso Service Unit. “We hope the train rides help the community understand the importance of following the law by stopping for trains to prevent deadly collisions.”
Officers from the El Paso Police and Sheriff’s departments also will be watching drivers at grade crossings through Union Pacific’s Officer-on-a-Train program. Law enforcement officials riding on the train’s locomotive will radio officers positioned near crossings when drivers violate grade crossing traffic laws. Officers on the ground then will pull drivers over and issue citations.
Union Pacific will host a rail safety celebration for the general public from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, November 15, at the El Paso Rail Yard, located at 211 North Piedras. Two locomotives and the passenger cars will be on display and Operation Lifesaver will provide rail safety information. There is no admission charge.
According to Operation Lifesaver, Texas had more than 200 highway-rail grade crossing collisions last year, the highest number in the country. Union Pacific and Operation Lifesaver presenters at each event will offer the following safety tips to help drivers as they approach railroad tracks and trains:
* Always expect a train. Look both ways - and then look again - before crossing railroad tracks.
* Wait for trains and do not attempt to beat approaching trains.
* It is against the law to stop your vehicle on railroad tracks. Before trying to cross the tracks, always ensure there is enough room on the other side of the tracks for your vehicle to completely clear the tracks.
* Watch for vehicles that must stop at railroad crossings, such as school buses and commercial trucks.
* If your vehicle stalls at a crossing, get passengers out and escort them far from the area, even if trains are not coming through. Call the emergency notification number posted on or near the crossing and notify local law enforcement.
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