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Be safe around railroad tracks

The Windsor Police Department recently participated in a worthwhile endeavor called “Operation Clear Track,” the largest single law enforcement railroad safety operation in the United States.

During this exercise, law enforcement personnel are stationed at targeted railroad crossings and other locations. They use this time to hand out railroad safety cards to motorists and pedestrians, issue earnings and citations to violators, and just to be visible and remind folks who go that way regularly, and may sometimes forget, to pay attention to the train.

In Windsor, officers were stationed at the intersection of Routes 460 and 258 and the six-way intersection at Bank Street, both of which are located near the Norfolk Southern railroad line.

Railroad safety for pedestrians and motorists is a vital topic. According to federal statistics, every three hours a person or vehicle is hit by a train in the United States. Many of those incidents, of course, turn deadly due to the speed and power of a train.

That’s an eye-popping statistic that should make everyone take notice and think about the train tracks near your house or those you cross regularly — on your way to work, church, school or your regular shopping areas.

People should always follow these safety rules around railroad crossings:

Motorists should be prepared to stop at the crossing.

Motorists and pedestrians should understand the signs and warning devices.

Regardless of warning devices in place, motorists and pedestrians should always slow down, look both ways, and listen before crossing.

Motorists should check that there is enough room on the other side of the tracks, behind a stopped car for example, for their vehicle to cross.

Nobody, whether on foot, bicycle or a vehicle, should ever race a train approaching the crossing or go around the gates.

Never stop your vehicle on the tracks. If your car stalls on a railroad track, immediately get everyone out, even if you don’t see a train coming. Call the number on the blue Emergency Notification System sign or 911.

Pedestrians should never walk along the railroad tracks.