It’s never safe to be on railroad tracks
As summer break starts across North Carolina, the N.C. Department of Transportation wants to remind parents and students of the dangers and legal issues of walking along, playing on or taking photographs on railroad tracks.
Railroad tracks and the land along them, known as the “right of way,” are privately owned by the railroad companies. By being on the railroad tracks, you are trespassing and can be arrested or fined by police.
Trains do not run according to a strict timetable. Freight trains run anytime, and passenger trains can be delayed and show up unexpectedly. Always expect a train at any time from either direction. There is no safe time to be on the tracks, ever.
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Trains cannot stop quickly to avoid hitting someone on the tracks, and they certainly cannot swerve. The train will likely hit you before you can get out of the way. This means that if you are on the tracks, it is possible that a train would not be able to stop in time to avoid hitting you.
So far in 2015, nine people have been struck and killed in North Carolina because they were illegally on railroad tracks. In 2014, the total was 20.
All trespassing deaths and incidents can be avoided. It is never OK to be on the tracks. Always make sure to cross the tracks at a designated location such as an at-grade crossing, a bridge or an underpass.
Please help us spread the word that railroad tracks are not safe and should not be used as shortcuts for any reason. Help us save lives by keeping off of the tracks.
Director, N.C. Rail Division