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Trains and crossings deserve our attention

A deadly car and train crash in Jackson this week is a painful reminder of just how dangerous railroad crossings can be.

Jackson police Commander Tyree Jones said the 44-year-old driver of the car died at the scene. He said the train was going eastbound and the car was going through intersections when they collided.

In Brookhaven, there’s no shortage of crossings. It’s not uncommon to see vehicles driving around the automatic barriers that come down as a train approaches. We regularly see pedestrians hopping across the tracks as a train nears.

In a city where trains are an everyday part of residents’ lives, it’s easy to become too comfortable with them. But we should always respect the danger they pose.

Because of their size, trains appear to be moving slowly, when in fact they usually aren’t. Also, when something is moving directly toward you, it’s hard to judge how far away it is. Those optical illusions make trains that much more dangerous.

We encourage everyone to pay attention around trains and rail crossings, and respect the danger they pose.