Norfolk Southern promotes train safety to reduce the number of f

Norfolk Southern promotes train safety to reduce the number of fatal crashes

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On average, a person or car is hit by a train every three hours in the United States. Last year, Tennessee had the 10th highest number of train/car crashes in the country. On average, a person or car is hit by a train every three hours in the United States. Last year, Tennessee had the 10th highest number of train/car crashes in the country.
Last year in Tennessee, nine people were killed after being hit by a train. Thirty-seven people were injured. Last year in Tennessee, nine people were killed after being hit by a train. Thirty-seven people were injured.
By STEPHANIE BEECKEN
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – It's a sobering statistic. On average, a person or car is hit by a train every three hours in the United States. Last year, Tennessee had the 10th highest number of train/car crashes in the country. A reminder of that came last week with a deadly collision in Harriman at a crossing on Mountain View Road near Highway 27.

Previous story: Victims named following car colliding with train in Harriman Friday night

Bill Clevenger has been a locomotive engineer for the past 36 years. He's seen many pedestrians and cars on the tracks during his time in the cab.

“It's very frustrating to go down the track, and I've actually seen people pull up to the railroad crossing and they look me in the eye and see me, and they still pull out,” said Clevenger.

Jill Moody is the Executive Director of Tennessee Operation Lifesaver, a non-profit group dedicated to raising awareness about train safety. She says if a train is going 55 miles per hour, it takes more than a mile for it to stop.

“Half of all train vehicle incidents do happen when there are lights and gates and bells people are just impatient and they drive around the gates. They try to race the train and they don't realize how fast the train is coming,” said Moody.

Last year in Tennessee, nine people were killed after being hit by a train. Thirty-seven people were injured.

Norfolk Southern invited 6 News aboard the train to learn about and share the importance of railroad safety. The goal of this nationwide campaign is to save lives.

“People don't realize that railroad property the track the train the rail yards are all private property so if you're on private property you're trespassing and you're breaking the law,” said Moody.

According to railroad police, you must also yield at all railroad tracks. If you go on the tracks or cross the tracks without yielding, you could get a ticket. Clevenger hopes more people obey the laws so he isn't involved in another train/car collision.

“We hit a car. We have to live with that. We've done all we can to stop it but it's out of our control and we have to live with the consequences as well,” said Clevenger.

According to Moody only a sign is required at railroad crossings. It's the local government's responsibility to install active warning systems like a gate or flashing lights. If a railroad crossing seems to be dangerous she says to contact operation lifesaver for advice on who can help make improvements.

Tennessee Operation Lifesaver, Inc.
121 Pennystone Circle
Brentwood, TN 37027
(615)656-1223 phone/fax
Jill Moody - jill@tnol.org
National Operation Lifesaver, Inc. 1-800-537-6224
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