Police Crack Down on Railroad Violations

By Susy Solis
|  Tuesday, May 17, 2011  |  Updated 5:17 PM CDT
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Police issued dozens of citations for railroad crossing violations during an enforcement period.

Susy Solis, NBCDFW.com

Police issued dozens of citations for railroad crossing violations during an enforcement period.

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Arlington, Grand Prairie and Union Pacific Railroad Police departments began cracking down on railroad violations Tuesday morning.

Police said common violations are stopping on the tracks or crossing the railroad tracks while the red lights are flashing or the barricades are coming down.

Walking alongside a railroad track or crossing the track anywhere but an intersection is also illegal.

"It's called interference with railroad property," said Sgt. Eric Hansen, public information officer with the Grand Prairie Police Department.

The semi-annual joint enforcement operation is called U.P. C.A.R.E.S. and stands for Union Pacific Crossing Accident Reduction Enforcement and Safety.

In Grand Prairie, the operation holds special significance.

"Here in Grand Prairie, in 2005-2006, we had the highest railroad crossing fatality rate in the state of Texas," said Hansen.

Since then, the city of Grand Prairie implemented a photo enforcement program at several railroad intersections, similar to photo enforcement programs for red-light cameras.

"Any violation that's conducted after that 4-second amnesty period, if it's caught by photo enforcement, then they'll get a red light- or a ticket in the mail just like you would for a red light violation," said Hansen.

Police issue an average of 50-100 citations during enforcement periods.

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