MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - Cars and trucks racing through railroad crossing guards as they go down is not an uncommon occurrence, but it is certainly a dangerous one. It is also against the law.
Offenders can receive tickets from the City of Midland anywhere between $50 to $200.
“Just pay attention to the lights. All of ours, at least within the city limits, all of our railroad crossings have audible signals, flashing lights and the drawbars that come down,” said Richard Moore, Midland Police Department. “Just pay attention, watch what’s going on, watch what’s in front of you and look at those lights as you are coming up to the railroad crossing.”
Trains can carry loads up to 10,000 tons, and with all that weight it can take a very long time to stop.
“These trains can’t even slow down, ok. They have no way to even slow down, If they see something on the tracks immediately in front of them, they’re going to strike it,” said Moore.
According to the Federal Railroad Administration, in 2017 there were more than 2,000 rail crashes, 274 of them were fatal.
“They have to make sure that they have enough clearance to cross the railroad crossing without getting stuck. It's on the duty of the driver,” Moore said.
Moore also state during his decade of service to the MPD he has seen several train wrecks.
“We have had some of our strikes that have taken over a mile for these things stopped,” Moore said.