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Town considers closing crossings to prevent railroad accidents

Train track crossings are some of the most dangerous places on our nation's roadways, and they are often the scenes of collisions involving locomotives and motor vehicles. There have been some very serious railroad accidents in recent months throughout the country. An official spokesperson for a town outside Connecticut said the town is considering closing two of its four railroad crossings to decrease community dangers.

The town supervisor said he often witnesses people rushing across the train tracks, often without apparent caution as to whether there may be approaching trains. He said he realizes railroad crossings can never be fully safety proofed; however, he also thinks shutting down two of the fours crossings in the town will help improve safety for travelers and railroad workers. The town currently faces a potential loss of $120 million for damages following a serious train crash in 2015.

In another town, there have been 23 railroad crossing crashes in the past 10 years, evidence that such locations are especially dangerous. Some safety analysts say railroad crossings can be as much as 20 times more dangerous than typical traffic intersections, especially if someone is negligent or acting against traffic and safety regulations. Currently in the United States, a person or vehicle is struck by a train approximately every three hours.

Railroad accidents often result in fatalities. Even if the accident does not involve another vehicle, railroad workers can still suffer permanent, disabling and life-threatening injuries in accidents on the job. Thankfully, these workers are protected by the Federal Employers Liability Act, which allows them to file personal injury claims against their employers where warranted. Most railroad workers in Connecticut seek guidance from attorneys who are well versed in FELA regulations before filing such claims.

Source: lohud.com, "Westchester rail crashes not as frequent as elsewhere", Matt Coyne, Oct. 24, 2017

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