MTA holds rail crossing awareness day for motorists

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Wednesday, June 3, 2015

PHILADELPHIA (WABC) -- The deaths in February at a rail crossing in Valhalla were a reminder of the danger when roads cross tracks. And on Wedneaday, the MTA held a railroad crossing awareness day to help motorists learn ways to prevent such tragedies.

MTA police spent the rush hours talking about safety at crossings on Long Island and Westchester County and Connecticut.

The MTA wants to provide the public with these safety tips:

--The only safe place to cross a railroad crossing is at a designated crossing with either a crossbuck, flashing red lights or a gate.

--Never try to beat a train through the crossing.

--The train you see is closer and faster-moving than you think. If you see a train approaching, wait for it to go by, the gates go up and the lights stop flashing, before you proceed across the tracks.

--Be aware that trains cannot stop quickly. Even if the locomotive engineer sees you, a moving train takes a long distance to stop.

--Never drive around lowered gates. If you think a signal is malfunctioning, call the phone number posted on or near the crossing.

--Do not get trapped on the tracks; proceed through a crossing only if you are sure you can completely clear the crossing without stopping.

--If your vehicle ever stalls on a track with a train coming, get out immediately and move quickly away from the tracks in the direction from which the train is coming.

--Do not cross the tracks immediately after a train passes. A second train might be blocked by the first. Trains can come from either direction. Wait until you can see clearly around the first train in both directions.

--When you need to cross train tracks, go to a designated crossing, look both ways, and cross the tracks quickly, without stopping.

--It isn't safe to stop closer than 15 feet from a rail.

--Flashing red lights indicate a train is approaching from either direction. Never walk around or behind lowered gates at a crossing, and DO NOT cross the tracks until the lights have stopped flashing and it's safe to do so.

--Always expect a train.

For more information about Operation Lifesaver, visit

For more information about International Level Crossing Awareness Day, visit