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Officials warn of railroad-crossing dangers

December 9, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
Officials on Friday announced a new push to improve rail safety.

Authorities want to point out how dangerous it is for people to walk on railroad tracks. They said it's also illegal.

Sometimes trains can overhang on the tracks about three feet in both directions, making it dangerous for pedestrians who may think they're not in the way.

People were warned not to ignore the flashing red lights and lowered gates.

"A lot of times, kids will have iPods on and they're listening to their music. They have no idea of their surroundings, a train sneaks up on them, [and] they don't hear it. Sometimes, it's too late," said one train engineer.

Trains traveling around 55 mph would need a mile to stop - that's about 18 football fields. Even if a locomotive engineer sees someone on the tracks, it's already too late for the train to stop.


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