Many people unknowingly put themselves in danger when they fail to take the proper precautions when crossing railroad tracks. The city of Plainfield, Illinois is in the midst of Train Safety Awareness Week, and some of the tips the agency is offering would be valuable to Californians as well.
Whether in a vehicle or on foot, it’s imperative that you only move across the tracks in an area where it’s advisable to do so. Pedestrians might be tempted to walk along the train tracks, and kids might consider playing on them, but this is never acceptable. Even if you’re on foot, you should cross at a designated space and obey the signals. Just because you can walk around a gate that a vehicle might not be able to doesn’t mean that you should.
If you’re in a car, always be cognizant of areas where you’ll need to cross the tracks, and keep one eye on the lights and gate. When the gate comes down, make sure you stop appropriately and wait until the train passes to cross. Even once the first train goes through and a gate goes up, you should slowly move on and make sure there’s no other trains coming, potentially from another direction.
When you cross, keep your vehicle in a low gear, and let it remain that way until you’ve passed. If your automobile experiences a stall while crossing, get out immediately and move a safe distance away before calling for help.