WASHINGTON COUNTY, Md. (WDVM) — With Rail Safety Week kicking off, officials are hoping to empower drivers and pedestrians to keep themselves safe near tracks and trains.
“Trains are large, heavy and they can’t stop on a dime,” said Hagerstown Fire Chief Steve Lohrer.
According to the Federal Railroad Administration, in 2018 there were 15 railroad-related incidents and eight fatalities in Maryland. In West Virginia, there were 23 crossing collisions with Virginia having the highest number of crash accidents at 38.
“Stay out of the right of way. We don’t want you walking on tracks, we don’t want you walking beside tracks,” said Chief Lohrer. “If you choose to do so, you should do that with full situational awareness.”
Statics show that every three hours, a person or vehicle in the United States is hit by a train.
“We like to call in our business the rule of lug nuts. Trains have the most lug nuts. They weigh the most. They’re going to defeat anything that gets in their way,” said Chief Lohrer.
According to CSX Transportation, every year, 2,100 North Americans are killed or seriously injured when they engage in unsafe behavior around tracks and trains.