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'Stop. Trains Can't.' campaign targets states with high risk highway-railway crossings like Texas

About 60% of all collisions at railroad crossings happen when active warning signs, crossing gates, and lights are present and functioning.
Credit: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

TEXAS, USA — The Federal Railroad Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has launched this year's public education campaign "Stop. Trains Can’t.". This 6.6 million dollar campaign urges drivers to think twice when crossing at railroads.

The campaign will run from Oct. 5 to Nov. 8, and will target states with high-risk highway-railway crossings in Alabama, Arizona, California, Georgia, Indiana, Tennessee and Texas.

“So many fatalities at highway-railway crossings are preventable; this campaign aims to raise public awareness and save lives,” said U.S. secretary of transportation Elaine L. Chao in a release.

The NHTSA  says 798 people have died while trying to drive across railroad tracks over the past five years. "In 2019 alone, 126 people were killed and 635 people were injured at railroad crossings.  Of those killed, about 75% died after the driver went around lowered crossing gate arms."

“A train can’t swerve out of the way or stop on a dime,” said NHTSA deputy administrator James Owens in the release.  “We all have a responsibility to be safe while on the highways, and that means drivers must always look carefully before driving across train tracks and obey any warning signals or lowered crossing gate arms.  Trying to beat a train could cost you your life.”

The NHTSA asks that you slow down, look, and listen for a train on the tracks when approaching a railroad crossing. Approximately 60% of all collisions at railroad crossings happen when active warning signs, crossing gates, and lights are present and functioning.