Police Warn Against Racing to Beat the Train

20 tickets issued Tuesday for drivers violating crossing laws

By Mola Lenghi
|  Tuesday, Jan 24, 2012  |  Updated 7:44 PM CDT
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Local police teamed up with UP Railroad Police to warn drivers of the dangers of trying to beat the train.

Mola Lenghi, Arlington Journalist

Local police teamed up with UP Railroad Police to warn drivers of the dangers of trying to beat the train.

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Waiting can be frustrating. Waiting on a train is no different, especially when you have somewhere else to be.

“The perception is out there in the community, 'Well, I'll just try and beat the train because I'm trying to get to work.’ Unfortunately, that can lead to a serious collision with the train which can lead to death or extensive damage to the train or the person's vehicle,” Arlington police Sgt. Chris Cook said.

Despite the risk, some motorists are convinced they can make it even in the face of the bells, horns, flashing lights and gates.

“It takes about a mile to a mile and a half to stop a freight train. Your car being hit by a train is the equivalent to you running over a tin can with your car,” said special agent Roger Rhoderick with the Union Pacific Railroad Police. “It’s very deceiving looking at a train straight on as far as the speed goes.”

“Every year people are injured, sometimes fatally, in communities around America because they try and beat the train,” added Cook.

Looking for motorists trying to beat trains, Arlington and Grand Prairie police teamed up with Union Pacific Railroad Police at railroad and street intersections in both cities Tuesday. Police issued 20 citations for everything from disregarding a railroad crossing signal, to stopping on or too close to the tracks.

Once emergency railroad signals are activated, drivers are required to stop at least 15 feet from the crossing.

Rhoderick stressed, “Just take some time and be safe at the crossings – look listen and live.”

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