Police Crackdown on Illegal Train Crossings

Local News

An undercover initiative is taking place in the Rio Grande Valley. Local law enforcement along with railroad company Union Pacific are working together to raise awareness to a deadly statistic.

About 40 tickets handed out in over an hour. It’s all part of a campaign designed to save lives.
Today Union Pacific Railroad along with law enforcement prepare a demonstration set out to find those violating basic traffic laws at railroad crossings.

The method is simple. Law enforcement agents board the train and patrol along the tracks. From Harlingen to Combes and back and forth repeatedly for over an hour. They’re looking impatient drivers trying to beat the crossing, or disregarding the signs meant to protect drivers.

They’re looking to raise awareness to a deadly statistic. Across the country a person or vehicle is hit by a train every three hours. On an average day, a locomotive can travel over 55 miles per hour and can take about a mile before it comes to a full stop.

As part of today’s the demonstration a train that was going 23 mph stops in time before hitting a tractor. The driver of the tractor receives a ticket and a harsh wake up call for trying to beat the train.

A traffic fine for not obeying railroad crossings may run anywhere from $50 to $200 say law enforcement. There is no price for a life.

Law enforcement will continue operations the rest of the week. Some drivers will get off with a warning, others with a ticket at the officer’s discretion.

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