RALEIGH – The N.C. Department of Transportation continues its efforts to curb train-related crashes and fatalities in the state during a month Governor Pat McCrory has proclaimed as “Rail Safety Awareness Month.”
Today, the department’s Rail Division conducted a Crossing Safety Blitz in Charlotte to coincide with International Level Crossing Awareness Day (ILCAD), a worldwide recognition of the importance of safety at railroad/roadway crossings, known in the United States as at-grade crossings.
The blitz helps get the word to motorists to stay off the tracks. The department partnered with local law enforcement and Norfolk Southern railroad police to distribute cards containing rail safety tips in English and Spanish to drivers at the Orr Road railroad crossing near Sugar Creek Road.
Twelve people have died on railroad tracks in North Carolina in just the first few months of this year, an unusually high number for such a short span of time. Those who died were in motor vehicles or trespassing on the tracks.
“We are taking additional measures to protect North Carolinians on and around the railroad tracks given the state’s recent increase in railroad fatalities,” said NCDOT Rail Division Director Paul Worley. “Hand delivering rail safety information to motorists is one important way to help keep people safe on the state’s railways.”
Over 2.5 hours, workers handed out 1,300 safety tip cards.
Last month, the Rail Division conducted a Crossing Safety Blitz in Fayetteville. There are plans to hold at least two more blitzes in the next couple of months at some of the crossings with the highest number of train-car collisions in the state.