NCDOT Takes Rail Safety Message to Residents in Fayetteville Tuesday, April 16, 2013

RALEIGH - Eleven people have died on railroad tracks in North Carolina in just the first few months of this year. An unusually high number for this time of year, the deaths represent those who were in motor vehicles and those who were trespassing on the tracks.


The North Carolina Department of Transportation is taking steps to curb train-related crashes and fatalities in the state for the remainder of this year.  One of those steps is to hold Crossing Safety Blitzes to get the word to motorists to stay off the tracks.  The department partnered with local law enforcement, first responders and other officials in Fayetteville today to conduct the first of several such planned blitzes.


Over a three-hour period, workers handed out 2,000 flyers to drivers at the East Russell Street and Hay Street crossings to provide important tips to keep them safe around the tracks.


“Just one fatality is too many,” said NCDOT Rail Division Director Paul Worley. “Hopefully, the safety message will not only reach the driver in the front seat, but their passengers, too.”


Other blitzes will be held in May, June and July in Charlotte, Greensboro and Dunn, respectively, at some of the crossing with the highest train-car collisions in the state.


Rail Safety Tips




  • Always stop your vehicle when crossing gates are down or lights are flashing. Wait for the crossing gates to rise and lights to stop flashing. Look both ways, listen and proceed with caution. For your safety, obey all signs and signals at railroad crossings.
  • Never stop your car on railroad tracks. When approaching an intersection at railroad tracks, keep your car behind the white lines.
  • If your car stalls while crossing the tracks, get out immediately and call 911 or the emergency notification number located on the railroad signal equipment. If a train is coming - abandon the car! Proceed quickly toward the train at a 45 degree angle so that if the train strikes your car you will be safe from flying debris.
  • Be aware that trains may operate any time throughout the day and night in either direction.



  • Never walk or run on railroad tracks. Remember: “Tracks are for trains. Stay away and stay alive.”
  • Walking on or near railroad tracks is dangerous - and illegal. Trains in North Carolina operate up to 79 miles per hour and can take more than a mile to come to a complete stop. Also, tracks are on private property; you risk being cited for trespassing.
  • Do not cycle or operate all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) on railroad tracks or railroad rights of way.
  • Do not hunt, fish or bungee jump from railroad trestles. They are not designed to be sidewalks - there is only enough clearance for a train to pass.
  • Always look both ways before crossing railroad tracks and cross only in designated areas.
  • Do not cross tracks when gates are down.
  • Be aware that trains may operate any time throughout the day and night in either direction.
  • Do not attempt to hop on board railroad cars or locomotives at any time. 



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