NCDOT Delivers Rail Safety Message in Greensboro as Rail Safety Summit Approaches Wednesday, June 12, 2013

RALEIGH – The N.C. Department of Transportation conducted a Crossing Safety Blitz in Greensboro Tuesday, prior to a statewide Rail Safety Summit being held Thursday, June 20 in Chapel Hill. Both the blitz and the summit are aimed at combating an unusually high number of vehicular and trespasser deaths on railroad tracks so far this year. Twelve people have died on North Carolina’s railways since January.


At the crossing blitz, NCDOT’s Rail Division, local law enforcement, Norfolk Southern Railway police and other officials in Greensboro handed out safety tips to drivers as they approached rail crossings to help educate them about potential dangers on and around the tracks and how to stay safe.


“The blitzes help get the word out to motorists to stay off the tracks,” said NCDOT Rail Division Director Paul Worley. “We are taking additional measures to protect North Carolinians on and around the railroad tracks given the state’s recent increase in railroad fatalities.”


Thirteen hundred cards, printed in English and Spanish, were distributed to drivers at the MacKay Street railroad crossing.


This was the third of four planned blitzes across the state since April near rail crossings with some of the highest train-car collisions in the state. The last blitz will be held in July in Dunn.


The Greensboro blitz occurred one week before NCDOT Secretary Tony Tata hosts a Rail Safety Summit designed to bring together community leaders and law enforcement groups from across the state to discuss ways to further improve rail safety and help save lives. It will focus on improving education and deterring distracted drivers and trespassers on and around railroad tracks.


The Rail Safety Summit is being held Thursday, June 20 at the Friday Center in Chapel Hill. For more information, visit 


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 onboard railroad cars or locomotives at any time.  



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