SCOTTSBLUFF, Neb. - When a train is approaching, you are required to stop before the train reaches the railroad crossing.
“Before you get to the train tracks, obviously slow down,” said Lt. Art Frerichs, Nebraska State Patrol. “I would come to a stop, look both ways to make sure there are no trains there and check your views at all times because sometimes the views are a little obstructive. Pull forward slowly until you can make sure that there is not a train coming before proceeding across the tracks.”
In most situations, there will be lines on the ground to indicate where to stop. If the lines are not present, keep a secure distance from the tracks and only precede when the area has been cleared.
“A lot of times with these train accidents, people are either trying to beat the train because they are in too much of a hurry or sometimes they get very complacent when they are crossing the tracks,” stated Frerichs. “You go across it numerous times and you don’t see a train and you kind of just forget about it and you just go across it and not pay any attention and then that’s when the tragedy happens.”
The best way to prevent an accident is to always be knowledgeable around your surroundings.
“The importance of wearing your seat belt is tremendous,” stated Frerichs. “Currently in the Panhandle, I believe there were about 80% of our fatalities were unrestrained. It is a very high probability if they had they been restrained, a lot of those effected would still be with us here today.”