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Kansas City, Missouri

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Brett Emison
Brett Emison
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Independence, Missouri Cracks Down On Train Accidents

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The Independence Examiner is reporting that the City of Independence, Missouri is cracking down on motorists to remind them of railroad crossing accident dangers.

Independence Police . . . issued 31 citations in about two hours where a [Union Pacific] spur line crosses Walnut Avenue and Noland Road.

Police want to remind drivers that they need to stop as soon as they see the flashing warning lights or hear the warning bells.

Even a short ride aboard the two locomotives used for Tuesday’s operation — from the Truman Depot to just east of the Sermon Center — shows a bit of a challenge. That line crosses 10 streets, eight of them without crossing guards or lights. Missouri has thousands of railroad crossings like that.

Officials said the crossing on Liberty Street — next to the Examiner — is a worrisome example of crossing concerns. People drive fast, and buildings there can obscure [or hide] the view of an oncoming train.

The Examiner reported that in 2008, there were 82 Missouri train accidents involving trains striking vehicles. These railroad crossing accidents resulted in 18 injuries and three deaths.

Many motorists take for granted that there cannot be a train accident if there are not lights flashing or no crossing arms at the railroad crossing. However, as the Examiner noted, many railroad crossings are unguarded and even those with lights and gates may malfunction.

You can learn about railroad crossing accidents and dangers and how to protect yourself and your family in our recent blog post or at our railroad crossing accident and safety web site.

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