STAUNTON, Va. (WHSV) – It’s Railroad Safety Week and a number of organizations are bringing awareness to the best ways to stay safe near the tracks.
According to Operation Lifesaver Inc, there were 38 collisions between railroads and vehicles in the state of Virginia. These collisions resulted in four fatalities and seven injuries. There were also 20 trespass casualties, resulting in 15 deaths and five injuries.
While the non-profit organization is working to bring awareness to railroad safety, Buckingham Branch Railroad also gave advice for ways to stay safe.
“The very first thing you need to do is get out the vehicle, and call the dispatcher before calling 911. Because 911 can’t notify the locomotive to stop the train. The railroad dispatcher controls the trains, “said Dave Dixon, supervisor of safety and compliance for Buckingham Branch Railroad.
Dixon said the way to reach the dispatcher is to call the number on the blue ENS sign. One should be at every railroad crossing.
Dixon also said to confirm with the dispatcher that there will be no trains coming before attempting to move a stopped vehicle. He also said not to underestimate how quiet a train can be.
“Most people think they can hear a train when walking on the tracks, ‘Oh I’ll just get out of the way when I hear it.’ Depending on the wind and the direction of travel sometimes trains are just silent and people don’t hear them,” Dixon explained.
Dixon said never try to beat the train, because the train will win.
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