Local law enforcement works to reduce railroad violations
Across the United States, over 900 people are killed on average by trains, according to the Springfield Police Department. In order to reduce those numbers, law enforcement agencies throughout Springfield dedicated their resources to patrol railroad property on Monday.
“A train striking a car is like crushing a soda can, so your odds of surviving are not very good,” said Sergeant Kris Rhodes, with the Springfield Police Department.
According to the Illinois Commerce Commission, in 2016 Illinois ranked the third highest in the United States for railroad accidents. Of those accidents, 22 were fatal.
“That’s very high,” said Lenardo Keuchler, a resident of Springfield.
The high number of accidents has law enforcement cracking down on railroad crossing violators, in hopes of making people aware of rail dangers.
“Educating people on the fact that what you’re doing in one illegal, but number two it puts you and everyone else in your at risk of being struck by the train,” explained Sergeant Rhodes.
Springfield PD said they constantly see both drivers and pedestrians breaking the law on railroads. The most common violation is driving around railroad gates. The second most common violation is trying to cross the tracks before the gate closes after the crossing signal lights up.
According to the Commerce Commission, it takes a train the length of 18 football fields to come to a complete stop. Springfield Police said the odds of surviving a train crash are low.
The fine for trespassing on railroad property is $250.