Police educate public about railroad crossing safety by giving out tickets

POSTED: Wednesday, March 27, 2013 - 4:00pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, March 27, 2013 - 7:47pm

Did you know you need to stop at least 15 feet from the nearest rail at crossings when warning signals say a train is approaching?

That's just one of many crossing laws that people are simply not aware of. So Wednesday, Union Pacific Cares, or UP Cares, made an effort to educate the public.

Louisiana ranks fourth in railroad accidents nationwide, and Iberville Parish ranks top five in the state for vehicle/train crashes.

Union Pacific Police, Plaquemine Police and the DOTD worked together to make it clear that people need to slow down and obey the law.

"Were trying to make the public aware of the dangers and traffic violations of railroad crossings," said Union Pacific Railroad Officer, Troy Boulas.

Residents of the area, like Haley Migliacio, say she’s even guilty of crossing the tracks when she knows it was cutting it close.

"I think many people cross it trying to beat it thinking you know we can make it, and you know accidents happen," said Haley Migliacio.

After learning the hard way, she understands now why waiting is so crucial.

"Actually years ago I was in an accident by the DOW train it was night time and we didn't see it coming I mean it hit our vehicle but luckily I was ok," noted Migliacio.

And Haley’s a lucky one - car/train crash deaths in Louisiana rank in the top ten in the nation. “I was in the truck and it hit the tail of the truck and spun the truck around," said Migliacio.

So police say events like the UP Cares Enforcement Operation are a good reminder to people that protecting your life is more important than beating the train.

Hands full of people were ticketed Wednesday because they didn't follow the rules of the road. Police involved say they've given out as many as sixty tickets during UP Cares Enforcement Operations.

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