Fort Collins Police Cite 19 People for Railroad Safety Violations
Fort Collins Police Services (FCPS) cited 19 people and warned 55 others for violating railroad safety earlier this week, according to their Facebook page.
The crackdown occurred on Wednesday (October 16), when FCPS officers and the BNSF railroad police observed railroad crossings to get a better idea of the issues that locomotive engineers face.
After witnessing unsafe behavior, the FCPS announced that there will be extra police enforcement around railroad crossings for this month.
They are also sharing railroad safety tips on their social media, in the hopes that it will decrease the amount of dangerous behavior occurring near the railroad tracks. Here are their top tips:
1. The only safe place to cross a railroad is at a designated public crossing.
Crossing anywhere else is trespassing, and will result in tickets or fines. In fact, any tracks or equipment relating to the railroad are considered private property. Avoid these areas, and you can avoid a trespassing charge.
2. Trains can take over a mile to come to a stop.
A locomotive engineer will not be able to stop in time if there is a person on the tracks. Trains also hang over the tracks by at least three feet, meaning that even people in the right-of-way next to the tracks can be hit.
3. Flashing red lights mean that a train is coming.
These lights mean that a train could be coming from either direction. Do not cross the tracks until it is safe to do so, and keep in mind not to cross immediately after a train passes. A second train could be nearby that you cannot see yet.
4. Don't touch the railroad trestles.
Trestles, or the bridges that carry trains, are off-limits. They are for trains only, and do not have room for pedestrians on them. Just in case that's not clear enough, here's a list of things you should not do on a trestle: hunt, fish, bungee jump, run, cycle, or walk.
5. Do not hop on the railroad equipment.
Find another mode of transportation for your cross-country travels. FCPS warns that hopping on railroad equipment can easily result in lost limbs or a lost life.
While many of these rules may seem self-explanatory, they are necessary to share. According to the Federal Railroad Administration, trespassing on railroads resulted in 7 deaths and 15 injures last year in Colorado alone.
It's never a bad idea to brush up on your railroad safety, especially in a town like Fort Collins. For a more in-depth look at train safety, you can visit Operation Lifesaver.