Monday, November 9, 2009

Morning Sweeps Target Rail Crossing Violators

As part of the Annual Operation Lifesaver Program, authorities made a sweep throughout Orange County that targeted pedestrians and vehicles who are violating rail-crossing laws.

The sweep netted 233 citations and 6 arrests. Of the 233 citations, 205 were given to motorists while the other 28 went to pedestrians.

This is an annual activity organized by Metrolink in cooperation with various law enforcement agencies.

More than the enforcement of the law, the goal f the program is to educate people about how to legally and safely navigate railroad tracks.

People have been using train tracks as a shortcut to wherever they are going, ignoring the obvious dangers that comes with the action.

What most people do not know is that it is illegal.

In a train track, the right of way always belongs to the train as the tracks are private property.

In essence, people who use the tracks as shortcut are generally trespassing.

If arrested, the person could be charged with a misdemeanor, be fined and even get some jail time.

Coincidentally, while the sweep is ongoing a train non lethal accident occurred in Santa Fe Springs when a pickup stalled while crossing a railroad track.

No one was hurt as witnesses yelled at the driver to get out of the car.

Hopefully this would remind people of the dangers of passing though railroads.

Most often than not, a train will not be able to stop in time to avoid a collision.

That is why it is up to motorists and pedestrians to make sure that they are careful enough when passing though a railroad crossing.

However, if does not remove the responsibility of railroad companies to keep the area safe not only for their trains, but also for motorists and pedestrians.

If the company or any of their employees have been negligent, they could be charged with both criminal and civil lawsuits if someone gets injured on their premises.