Caution urged at railroad crossings

Posted Sept. 02, 2013, at 5:34 p.m.
Last modified Sept. 28, 2013, at 1:52 p.m.

The second collision in a week between a train and vehicle in the Bangor area is a stark reminder of how attentive motorists must be at all railroad crossings, according to Maine Operation Lifesaver, the state’s rail safety education organization.

“Trains, no matter at what speed they are operating, can’t stop quickly,” says Fred Hirsch, state coordinator of Maine Operation Lifesaver. “Even at a very slow speed, because of a train’s mass, it can take hundreds of yards to come to an emergency stop. This puts the burden on the motorist to yield to a train.”

Hirsch adds that taking one’s foot off the gas pedal or tapping the brakes approaching a railroad crossing will lessen the likelihood of hitting a train. He says trains can approach a crossing on any day at any time and suggests that motorists should always expect a train.

Maine Operation Lifesaver offers free safety presentations to any group or company by e-mailing or calling 945-6878.

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