Walking on Tracks is Illegal, Dangerous -Even Deadly
Raleigh - Julia Littlejohn just wanted to find her lost dog. She didn't think twice about climbing up onto the tracks. "I'm up on the tracks, and I hear this loud horn," she said.
That horn signaled a fast-approaching train, one that could have killed Littlejohn had she not reacted in time.
The N.C. Department of Transportation's BeRailSafe initiative, which works to educate children and adults about the dangers of being on and around railroad tracks, has produced a new video warning against walking on train tracks that highlights Littlejohn's experience. Approximately 1,200 people are killed each year walking on train tracks in the U.S. North Carolina has already experienced a train-related fatality in 2016. NCDOT wants to remind everyone that walking on railroad tracks is illegal, dangerous -and often deadly.
The Rail Division's BeRailSafe initiative is a statewide program that educates children and adults about the dangers of being on and around railroad tracks.
Amtrak engineer JD Thomas adds a unique perspective to the video -he was working on the train that nearly hit Littlejohn, and says he remembers seeing her on the tracks that day. Not everyone who crosses train tracks fares as well as Littlejohn.
"These are fast-moving pieces of machinery," said Thomas. "They are unforgiving."
In addition to providing education, BeRailSafe also helps train law enforcement and other first emergency responders on how to safely perform their tasks along the state's railways.
"Safety around railroad tracks is good for both the community and the railroad," said NCDOT Rail Division Director Paul Worley. "It improves the quality of life of an area and helps the railroad system operate better as it carries people and freight."
The PSA is also available online. For more information, visit the BeRailSafe website.