A disturbing trend nationwide: The number of pedestrian railroad deaths jumped 10 percent in the first nine months of 2012. Ron Adams, WisDOT’s Rails and Harbors Section Chief, says the answer to reducing this trend is simple — keep off the tracks. “People who walk along railroad tracks or in railroad yards are trespassing on private property and risk being fined, injured or killed. Judging the speed and distance of an oncoming train is difficult and depending on a train’s speed, it can take over a mile to stop.”
In Wisconsin, one person has died while trespassing on railroad tracks this year. Last year, there were six fatalities. Nowadays, the use of electronic mobile devices with earphones poses an additional safety risk, especially for our young people. If they’re walking on the tracks while listening to loud music, they many not hear the warning sounds of a train’s horn.