By Gary Joiner
Safety around railroad trains, tracks and crossings is a serious matter. It can be deadly far too many times.
Texas ranks number one in the country in collisions and injuries and number two in deaths at highway grade crossings. In the U.S, every three hours, a person or vehicle is hit by a train.
This week is Rail Safety Week in North America. It’s a good time to remind everyone about making safe choices around trains and tracks.
For farm equipment operators, there’s a special need to pay attention where field and farm access roads cross train tracks.
According to Operation Lifesaver, Inc., knowing what to do when crossing railroad tracks is critical.
Farmers, ranchers and their employees should cross tracks only at designated crossings. When they do, they must think train. Trains can run on any track, at any time, in either direction.
Slow down as you approach a railroad crossing. Stop at least 15 feet from the crossing. Trains can overhang tracks by 3 feet or more on either side.
Look and listen for a train. Open cab windows, turn off radios and fans, and remove headphones.
Look both ways twice before crossing. And once you start across the tracks, do not hesitate and do not change gears.
If your vehicle gets stuck, get everyone out and far away immediately, even if you do not see a train.
These safety steps could save a life. It could be yours.
The preceding commentary is brought to you by Texas Farm Bureau, the “Voice of Texas Agriculture.” Called “Your Texas Agriculture Minute,” TFB will issue thought-provoking editorials each week—via print and audio—to spark understanding of agriculture in the Lone Star State and its impact on each and every Texan.
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