You Asked: Slow down at railroad crossings to prevent wrecks

Published 10:26 pm Saturday, August 6, 2016

Q: Why don’t some of the railroad crossings in Brookhaven have warning lights to let you know a train is coming? Are drivers required to stop at the tracks?

A: According to the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol driver’s manual, state law requires drivers to stop at a railroad crossing if there is a lowered crossing gate, a flashing signal, a stop sign, a flag man giving a signal or a rapidly approaching train.

Not every railroad crossing in Brookhaven has a gate or flashing lights, but most crossings have signage and pavement markings leading up to the tracks. These features exist to tell drivers to slow down and proceed with caution.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Often, drivers will not even slow down when approaching railroad tracks, but Brookhaven Police Chief Bobby Bell said this was highly inadvisable. “I recommend that you stop at all crossings to make sure nothing is coming,” he said.

According to Operation Lifesaver, a non-profit dedicated to educating children about rail safety, someone is hit by a train in the United States roughly every three hours.